KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s top women’s doubles pair Pearly Tan-M Thinaah clinched a nail-biting 21-19 deciding set against Japan’s Rena Miyaura-Ayako Sakuramoto enroute to setting the unofficial longest rally in world badminton.
Both pairs exchanged 211 strokes, where the previous longest rally is believed to be 162 strokes.
The win gave the Malaysian pair a ticket to the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Masters 2023 at the Axiata Arena as Pearly-Thinaah triumphed 21-18, 8-21 and 21-19.
Despite losing the match, the Japanese pair, fresh from winning the Orleans Masters 2023, put up a great show, especially by dragging the Malaysian pair to their longest ever rally in the deciding set.
Winning the point from the longest rally certainly gave Pearly-Thinaah an added tonic to keep the Japanese duo at bay before walking out as winners.
A beaming Pearly when met by reporters after the match said though it was a closely-fought encounter, winning the point in the longest rally, was the turning point.
“I did not cue the shot, it was a long rally and I knew they were prepared, so both sides were prepared too. We knew we were tired but the opponent was tired too, in our minds we wanted to win that shot so we just mentally prepared ourselves very well and I am so happy we won the point,” she said.
Thinaah said she and Pearly would now focus on avenging their disappointment at the 2023 Indonesia Masters where they lost 14-21, 19-21 in straight sets to Yuki Fukushima-Sayaka Hirota of Japan, their next opponents.
Meanwhile, in the men’s doubles competition, Malaysia’s top men’s doubles pair and defending men’s doubles world champions Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik were in a class of their own disposing off South Korea’s Choi Sol-gyu-Kim Won-ho 21-19, 21-14 in straight sets.
The Malaysian pair’s opponents in the quarterfinals will be the winner between China’s He Ji Tang-Zhoa Hao Dong and Indonesia’s Leo Rolly Carnando-Daniel Marthin who face each other in a later match tonight.
“Today we were better prepared against the Koreans compared with the Sudirman Cup competition when we lost to the same pair. The first set was very tight and we managed to pull off the win, we knew we could edge them in the second,” said Wooi Yik.
Another Malaysian men’s doubles pair, Man Wei Chong-Tee Kai Wun also marched into the quarterfinals after coming from a set down to beat Scotland’s Alexander Dunn-Adam Hall 19-21, 21-16, 21-13.
The duo, ranked 26th in the world, will meet either Lee Jhe-Huei-Yang Po-Hsuan from Taiwan or Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan-Hendra Setiawan who are also scheduled to play later tonight.