Rexy Mainaky Foresees Medal Potential for Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan at Asian Games

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Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan set their sights on the Asian Games. (photo: Eurasia/Getty Images)
Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan set their sights on the Asian Games. (photo: Eurasia/Getty Images)

Kuala Lumpur: Despite their recent runners-up finish at the 2023 Hong Kong Open, Malaysia’s World No. 10 women’s doubles pair, Pearly Tan/Thinaah Muralitharan, are gearing up to contend for a medal at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games in China.

The 2022 Hanghzou Asian Games, which were postponed for a year due to COVID-19, are scheduled to open on September 23 and end on October 8.

This optimism is echoed by Rexy Mainaky, the Doubles Coaching Director at the Academy of Badminton Malaysia (ABM), following his evaluation of the pair’s performance at the tournament at the Hong Kong Open. The duo secured a silver medal after an intense match against Indonesia’s Apriyani Rahayu/Siti Fadia Silva Ramadhanti.

Mainaky praised Tan/Muralitharan’s overall showing at the Super 500 level tournament, despite their defeat to the Indonesian team in a match that lasted 73 minutes. “Their performance was commendable, earning a score of around eight to nine. They are well on their way to competing for medals,” Mainaky stated.

The Commonwealth Games champions are set to start training at ABM, Bukit Kiara before setting off for Hangzhou on September 25. The last Malaysian pair to secure a medal in the women’s doubles event at the quadrennial Games were Vivian Hoo/Woon Khe Wei, who won bronze at the 2014 edition in Incheon, South Korea.

Hoon Thien How, Malaysia’s women’s doubles coach, lauded Tan/Muralitharan’s performance in the Hong Kong Open final. Despite their loss, he remains hopeful about their prospects in upcoming tournaments. “We will address our shortcomings when we return home and concentrate on preparing for the Asian Games,” he said.

Pearly Tan suffered a shoulder injury during the Hong Kong Open final when she slipped while attempting to retrieve a shot when they were trailing 6-18 in the decider. Despite resuming the match after her fall, her movement was noticeably limited thereafter. Nevertheless, Hoon reassured that her injury was not severe and that their focus now shifted towards gearing up for the Asian Games.

“At the start of the deciding set, there was a bit of pressure, maybe because we lost the second set and then it started to get messy. Fortunately, (Tan’s) injury is not serious. When we go home, we will focus on the Asian Games,” added Hoon.

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