Thinaah aims high on the court and in her course

PETALING JAYA: Shuttler M. Thinaah has as good as qualified for the Paris Olympics in July but she know she has to raise her game further.

The 26-year-old said there is a need for improvement in her results, and she has to redouble her efforts alongside her partner, Pearly Tan.

The pair are currently ranked 15th in the world.

“We are training for the upcoming tournaments in preparation for the Olympics. So far, we have been listed (for the Olympics) but the confirmation will take place after April,” said one half of the national no. 1 women’s doubles player.

“Ranking-wise, we are qualified, however there has to be a bit more improvement,” she said during her scholarship award ceremony at Open University Malaysia (OUM) yesterday.

Thinaah was conferred a scholarship in Bachelor of Education (Teaching English as a Second Language) with Honours programme by OUM.

The scholarship covers the semesters from January 2023 to May 2024.

Thinaah said she chose to study the course, better known as TESL, over a sports-related course as it aligns with her interest in the English language.

“Since I travel a lot, being proficient in English is crucial as it is a major language. This is one of the reasons why I chose this course and I am confident that I have made the right choice,” said Thinaah, who is also fluent in Tamil, Mandarin and Bahasa Malaysia.

On balancing her busy schedule with academics, Thinaah said time management was crucial in maintaining a stable consistency in academia and a sports career.

She said the university’s “flexible approach” by having all classes online made it easy for her to catch up on her studies.

“Never give up on your dreams, if you work hard enough you can achieve more than what you can dream of,” she said.

In preparation for the French Open next week and other upcoming tournaments, Thinaah said she and Tan are motivated to defend the French title they won in 2022, the same year they got their highest world ranking of No. 5.

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