Pearly-Thinaah still adapting to new normal under Indonesian coach

SHAH ALAM: Women's doubles Pearly Tan-M. Thinaah will need more time to adapt to the new coaching style of Muhammad Miftakh.

Indonesian Miftakh, a doubles specialist with 10 years of coaching experience with the Indian national team, was roped in by the BA of Malaysia (BAM) earlier this month to assist women's doubles coach Hoon Thien How.

BAM also acquired the services of two Indonesian professional shuttlers — Ade Yusof Santoso and Gerardo Rizqullah Hafidz — to inject more firepower into Pearly-Thinaah's game in the run-up to the Paris Olympics in July.

On Wednesday, world No. 14 Pearly-Thinaah did not hold back as they thrashed the United Arab Emirates' Noyonika Rajesh-Madhumitha Sundrapandian 21-4, 21-5 in the opening Group Y tie of the Badminton Asia Team Championships (BATC) at the Setia City Convention Centre (SCCC).

Malaysian won the tie 5-0.

"A new coach brings in new experience and methods, but it has only been two weeks, so we need more time to adapt and learn.

"Nonetheless, we are excited and looking forward to learning more," said Pearly, who is happy to play at this year's BATC with her regular partner.

At the previous edition, Malaysia made the semi-finals but were without Thinaah, who was down with Covid-19.

On their next match against Thailand, which will decide who tops the group and heads into the last eight as a seeded team, Thinaah, who is also captain, added: "So far, everything is going smoothly for us. We hope for the best.

"Everyone playing in this tournament is giving their best for the country."

On paper, Thailand will start as favourites, even without the services of former world champion Ratchanok Intanon.

Thailand also thrashed UAE 5-0 in their opening Group Y tie on Tuesday.

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