PEARLY-THINAAH AIMING TO BE IN TOP FORM AT PARIS OLYMPICS


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia’s top women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah are striving to regain the form they showed at the Indonesia Open 2024 last month in preparation for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Despite being knocked out in the quarterfinals by world number one pair from China, Chen Qing Chen-Jia Yi Fan in 20-22, 18-21, Pearly acknowledged that their performance at the iconic Istora Senayan Stadium in Jakarta has helped rebuild their confidence after a series of inconsistent displays.

‘So this (current) training period we are working on finding our confidence and gameplay (like at the Indonesia Open 2024). Preparations so far so good as we just give everything in training and fight for the Olympics,’ she told a press conference here today.

The Kedah-born player said that they have learned a lot from their defeat to Qing Chen-Yi Fan, particularly in how their opponents capitalised on critical moments to score and secure victory.

Like other athletes, she said they dream of winning an Olympic medal and a
re ready to showcase their true potential in Paris.

Thinaah hopes that the experience of training with several sparring partners brought in from Indonesia will help them overcome top world pairs, including Qing Chen-Yi Fan and the world number two pair from South Korea, Baek Ha Na-Lee So Hee.

‘Both pairs have their own advantages and disadvantages. I think the real challenge will definitely be facing them on court, and now we just want to focus point by point and step by step (during the Olympic Games),’ she said.

Based on previous encounters, Pearly-Thinaah have won only once out of seven matches against Qing Chen-Yi Fan and lost two out of three matches against Ha Na-So Hee.

Meanwhile, Akademi Badminton Malaysia Director of Coaching, Rexy Mainaky believes that if Pearly-Thinaah are placed in a group with top or higher-ranked pairs at the 2024 Olympics and can overcome their opponents at that stage, it will boost their confidence for the knockout rounds.

He said the chances are more open for any player
or pair to win a medal at this (Paris) Olympics compared to when badminton was first introduced at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

‘Since London 2012 onwards, the pressure is not the same as in previous Olympics like in 1992 because back then, it was clear who the strong candidates for the champion were.

‘But this time, everyone is equal, not just China, Japan, South Korea, or Malaysia, even the men’s singles player from Guatemala, Kevin Gordon, made it to the semifinals in Tokyo 2020, so it all depends on how each player handles their pressure,’ he said.

Rexy, who won a gold medal in men’s doubles with Ricky Subagja at Atlanta 1996, also said that various scenarios, including ways to score points and the direction of serves, have been planned in training sessions to help Pearly-Thinaah face other top world pairs in Paris.

National women’s doubles coach Hoon Thien How, on the other hand, does not want to put any pressure on them and hopes Pearly-Thinaah stay injury-free leading up to the 2024 Olympics.

The 202
4 Paris Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 26 to August 11.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency