Soniia Cheah of Malaysia prepares to serve during the match against Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo July 28, 2021. Reuters pic
TOKYO, July 28 National womens singles ace Soniia Cheah Su Ya gave it everything she had against world number six Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, but it still wasnt enough to prevent her from making an early exit from the Tokyo Olympics today.
Soniia, 28, who received a walkover from Hungarys Laura Sarosi in her first Group N match on Tuesday (July 27), knew she had to beat Ratchanok to advance to the quarter-finals but she found the Thai a tough nut to crack.
Despite winning the opening game, Soniia, who is making her Olympic debut, succumbed 21-19, 18-21, 10-21 in 61 minutes at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza here.
With the win, 2013 world champion Ratchanok has now beaten world number 35 Soniia five times since 2017.
Soniia, thus, becomes the third representative from the national badminton camp to miss out on the quarter-finals in the Tokyo Olympics after the mixed doubles and womens doubles pairs had also failed to get past the group stage. 
This was also Soniias fifth defeat from five outings on the international arena this season.
Meanwhile, national mens singles ace Lee Zii Jia will resume his medal pursuit as he seeks to qualify for the quarter-finals when he takes on Frenchman Brice Leverdez in a must-win final Group M match at 8.40pm local time (7.40 Malaysian time) today. Bernama