PETALING JAYA: Women’s doubles shuttler Pearly Tan Koong Le has paid tribute to outgoing head coach Rosman Razak, who has been instrumental in helping her to find her feet in the national team.
Despite graduating from the junior squad with flying colours, the 20-year-old Pearly endured a difficult start in her transition to a senior player early last year after Toh Ee Wei, who she teamed up with to as emerge runners-up in both the world and Asian Junior Championships in 2018, quit the national team. That forced Rosman to tinker with the players, partnering Pearly with several other players in the first half of the year.
Pearly played with Yap Ling, Lim Chiew Sien and Teoh Mei Xing before settling down with M. Thinaah.
The decision to combine Pearly with Thinaah, who joined from the singles squad, proved to be a masterstroke from Rosman as the pair made a swift impact by winning the Malaysian International Series.
They made it to three more finals later in the year, capturing two more titles at the Indian International Challenge and Bangladesh International Challenge.
The Pearly-Thinaah partnership continued to blossom this year with a couple of promising displays in the higher tier tournaments.
They were able to stretch more illustrious opponents such as world No. 8 Greysia Polii-Apriyani Rahayu of Indonesia and world No. 12 Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida of Japan.
But the best performance yet from Pearly-Thinaah was delivering the winning point as Malaysia beat Taiwan 3-1 to march into the semi-finals of the Asia Team Championships in Manila three months ago. That feat secured Malaysia’s qualification to Uber Cup Finals on merit.
Pearly thanked Rosman, who has been transferred to the men’s doubles department, for his guidance over the past 16 months.
“He is a very good coach, I’m so fortunate to have had him and coach Wong Pei Tty guiding me right from the day I joined the senior team,” said Pearly. “The transition has not been the smoothest as I had to switch a few partners before Thinaah. Coach Rosman helped ease the process by giving me pep talks always, he never stopped encouraging.
“That gave me a lot of confidence and spurred me to become better and better. When you have a good coach like that, you try your best not to let him down.
“I’m sad that he will no longer be coaching us, but I’ll not forget his contribution. I’m going to make him proud by becoming one of the world’s best in the future.”
Pearly is equally excited about prospects of training under newly-hired Chan Chong Ming after hearing good things about him from her father.“I don’t know much about coach Chong Ming as I was still very young when he was playing for the national team,” said Pearly. “But dad told me he was one of the top doubles player in the country in the 2000s, especially with partner Koo Kien Keat. I’m looking forward to seeing him when we return to training.”
Pearly is also thrilled with the news of Ee Wei rejoining the national team.
“I’m not too sure about her progress in the past one year, but I have no doubt her return is going to make our department even stronger,” said Pearly. “Having partnered her for two years in junior team, I know how good and skillful she is. She has so much potential.”