Only Paris on their minds

Single-minded pair: Pearly-Thinaah were left out of the Uber Cup Finals team to allow them to focus on their preparations for the Olympics.

PETALING JAYA: Women’s doubles shuttlers Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah are finding ways to gain the edge over the world’s top pairs ahead of the Paris Olympics in July.

The world No. 14 have regained some of their old form after a disappointing few months but are still dogged by inconsistency especially in tight matches.

The issue surfaced again in the recent Asian Championships where Pearly-Thinaah went down fighting 21-19, 13-21, 16-21 to Japan’s former two-time world champions Mayu Matsumoto-Wakana Nagahara in the first round in Ningbo, China.

In the All-England last month, the former similarly lost out narrowly 21-11, 18-21, 18-21 to another Japanese pair, world No. 11 Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto in the quarter-finals. Pearly-Thinaah led in the third game but could not manage to hold on to win on both occasions.

Pearly acknowledged that she and Thinaah needs to iron out their weaknesses ahead of the Olympics where the pair will be making their debut.

“On court, we are getting back our momentum but we are still not consistent. We tend to lead in matches but end up losing,” said Pearly.

“We made the same mistake in the Asian meet and we are trying to analyse videos of our matches to find ways to solve this issue.”

Pearly-Thinaah will be Malaysia’s sole representatives in the women’s doubles in the Olympics.

While aware of the tough challenge that lies ahead for her and Thinaah, Pearly is still looking forward to competing in the Olympics for the first time.

“I feel very excited to get to play in the Olympics. It’s a dream come true for me,” said Pearly.

“I’m really happy that I have made it this far. I just want to stay focused and I hope to get the best result.”

Pearly-Thinaah were left out of the Uber Cup Finals (April 27-May 5) team to allow them to focus on their preparations for the Olympics and are out to maximise the time they have to be in the best shape possible in Paris.

“We want to use this time to keep working on our weaknesses,” said Pearly.

“We are both free of injuries but we need to maintain our physical condition to be able to handle high intensity matches.”

Pearly-Thinaah’s next assignment will be the Malaysian Masters from May 21-26 at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil.

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