Pearly-Thinaah need to build up on their strength

Top bracket: Pearly and Thinaah are currently the world No. 5 pair.

PETALING JAYA: Women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah need to toughen up physically if they want to keep progressing well.

That’s the advice of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) high performance director Dr Tim Jones after the duo reached a career-high No. 5 in the latest world ranking.

Pearly-M. Thinaah achieved this latest milestone thanks to back-to-back semi-final finishes in the recent Indian Open and Indonesian Masters.

While pleased with their progress, Jones believes the pair need to build up their strength to continue matching the other top pairs in the world.

“We are always happy to see our players moving up,” said Jones.

“Pearly and Thinaah, though, need to work on their strength to progress further.

“This is part of our plan for them but it’s more difficult with so many tournaments coming up.

“I need to plan carefully with the gym coaches at the National Sports Institute (NSI) on when we can have more fitness sessions for them in between tournaments.’’

Jones also said that the pair must be more consistent after they crashed out of the opening round of the Malaysian Open, before rebounding strongly in India and Indonesia.

“So far, we haven’t really seen the consistency that we want from them. The same goes for the other players.

“I believe, though, that it’s better for them to be inconsistent now than when the qualification period for the 2024 Paris Olympics starts in May.

“The early loss for Pearly-Thinaah at home also served as a wake-up call for them.

“Looking at the rankings and results over the last few years, a pair can only afford to lose in the early rounds once in about eight tournaments, to be in the top eight in the doubles.

“If a pair suffers an early exit once in every three tournaments, then they are going to struggle to maintain their ranking.

“So, this is where we need to work on with Pearly-Thinaah, building on their consistency as we know that when everything goes well for them, they can pretty much challenge any pair in the world.’’

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