Pearly back to light training and looks good for Europe trip

Slow and steady: Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah will play Thailand’s Supissara Paewsampran-Putita Supajirakul in the first round of the Denmark Open. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Birmingham Commonwealth Games champions Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah’s return to competition in Europe looks encouraging.

Pearly, who is carrying a hamstring injury, has started doing light training on court and national doubles coaching director Rexy Mainaky is optimistic with the improvement shown by her.

If all goes well, Pearly and Thinaah will compete in the Denmark Open from Oct 18-23 and the French Open from Oct 25-30.

The shuttler suffered a hamstring tear during the Japan Open in Osaka five weeks ago but said to have shown good progress during rehab.

“Pearly is showing good progress and she has already started light training on court. It looks very positive for them,” said Rexy.

“Looking at their determination, I believe they can play in Europe. However, we still have another two weeks before the competition begins and will give them more time to prepare.”

Their return to the European legs is important to strengthen their claim to feature in the World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China.

They are ranked 11th in the standings while independent shuttlers Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien are in fifth.

Pearly-Thinaah will have to do exceptionally well to move into the top eight. Only the top eight can feature in the Finals and a country can have a maximum of two pairs if both of them are ranked in the top four bracket.

Nothing is impossible if the determination of Pearly is anything to go by.

The 22-year-old Pearly’s recovery rate has been consistent with the time frame projected by the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) high performance director Dr Tim Jones which was supposed to be four to six weeks.

Being a determined and disciplined player, Pearly’s fast recovery wasn’t surprising and with the Denmark Open in Odense due to start on Oct 18, the shuttler will have another two weeks to gauge her fitness level before jumping into action.

Pearly-Thinaah will play Thailand’s Supissara Paewsampran-Putita Supajirakul in the first round of the Denmark Open while the French Open draw will be released today.

It has been a stellar year so far for Pearly-Thinaah with the Commonwealth Games women’s doubles gold two months ago highlighting their consistent rise at the world stage.

Prior to Pearly’s injury, the Malaysian pair stunned world No. 3 Lee So-hee-Shin Seung-chan of South Korea in the first round of the Japan Open.

The misfortune struck in the second round against another Korean pair Baek Ha-na-Lee Yu-lim but Pearly’s anguish is set to vanish when she and Thinaah return to competitions again in Europe.

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