Japanese hurdle for Pearly-Thinaah

KUALA LUMPUR: Can Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah win a medal at the World Championships in Tokyo later this month?

The World No 11 will feel they can do it following their mixed team and women's doubles victories at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

For the record, Malaysia have yet to win a medal in women's doubles at the world meet.

However, Pearly-Thinaah will have to negotiate past two top-five pairs to achieve that dream.

The Malaysians will likely face world No 5 Nami Matsuyama-Chiharu Shida of Japan and world No 4 Kong Hee Yong-Kim So Yeong of South Korea in the last 16 and quarter-finals.

Seeded 10th, Pearly-Thinaah, who received a first-round bye, will open against compatriots Valeree Siow-Low Yeen Yuan or Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand of India in the second round.

The Malaysians had outplayed Treesa-Gayatri twice in Birmingham.

However, the potential crunch last-16 battle with Matsuyama-Shida will put their medal credentials to the test.

Pearly-Thinaah have yet to beat the in-form Japanese pair, who have won three World Tour titles this season, in five meetings.

If Pearly-Thinaah win, they will face another potential tough clash against Hee Yong-So Yeong, whom they have not beaten before, in the last eight.

However, Pearly-Thinaah have been growing in confidence this year and they definitely have a chance of going far in Tokyo.

Other pairs in the fray are Anna Cheong-Teoh Mei Xing and Vivian Hoo-Lim Chiew Sien.

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