Thinaah single-minded to perform doubly well with Pearly

PETALING JAYA: From a do-or-die situation to playing in the Olympic Games, national woman doubles shuttler M. Thinaah has shown that nothing is impossible.

Her daring move to switch from singles to doubles in 2018 at a crucial age of 18 has finally provided her the chance to perform at the pinnacle of any athletes’ career – the Olympics in Paris from July 26-Aug 11.

And the 26-year-old Thinaah is now determined not to waste her chance with Pearly Tan in their Olympics debut.

Although it will be a difficult task to win a medal in the presence of strong pairs from China, Japan and South Korea, Thinaah will take it as a motivation to play well in Paris.

“We want to take it (the challenge) as a positive vibe going into the Olympics where we are excited to play in our first Games. We also want to perform on court,” said Thinaah.

While determined to make it a memorable Olympics, Thinaah also hopes her success story will inspire the younger doubles pairs coming up the rank to achieve their true potential in future.

The Klang-born player was struggling so much with the transition that playing at the Olympics was a far-fetched dream a few years ago.

“I wasn’t getting the results in the singles.

“I had to either switch to the women’s doubles or quit the national team,” said Thinaah.

“It was a do-or-die situation as the transition wasn’t easy as I was still novice in the doubles.

The gamble of joining the doubles squad headed by Rosman Razak paid off big time.

Initially she partnered Lim Payee but went on to play with her current partner Pearly from 2019.

The partnership proved lethal as Thinaah-Pearly broke many boundaries and were even ranked as high as world No. 5 in January this year.

The world No. 13 showed plenty of promise early in their career where they won the Malaysia, Sydney, India and Bangladesh International titles in 2019 and went on to win their first Badminton World Federation (BWF) tour title at the Swiss Open in 2021.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games winners became the first Malaysian women’s pair to capture the French Open in 2022, their biggest success on the tour.

They also finished runners-up at the Malaysian Masters and the Hong Kong Open last year.

Injuries to Pearly had slightly hampered their progress over the last two years but the duo battled on.

“Deep inside me, the obvious aim of playing at the Olympics had always been there but now, it feels surreal that I’ve made it,” she said.

“Thanks to coach Rosman, who assessed my ability as the doubles and also guided me in the initial stage.

“I also have to wish my gratitude to Pearly, the coaches and the fellow players who have always been part of this success.“Will power to battle against the best and the communication between us are things that has kept us going in our career,” she added.

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Badminton , M. Thinaah , Paris Olympics


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