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Thinaah beats the odds for breakthrough win

ULU KINTA: M. Thinaah found the breakthrough she had been looking for when she stunned fourth seed Lim Yin Fun 23-21, 21-8 in just 36 minutes to lift the women’s singles title at the National Championships at the Sri Perdana Hall. 

It was the 19-year-old Thinaah’s first senior individual title.

The world No. 458 only joined the national team after the World Junior Championships last year. 

Thinaah has been under the guidance of former international Sairul Amar Ayob and the huge improvement in her game was evident yesterday.

Thinaah overcame a nervous start before stepping up the tempo, where she pulled off some clever net shots and kept piling the pressure on a clueless Yin Fun. 

“This is my first win over Yin Fun … I’ve seen her play better but this win will surely give me a lot of confidence,” said the Selangor-born Thinaah.

“I’ve been playing in the junior ranks for a few years but I always fall short … but today, I cleared that hurdle. I’m happy to win my first ever title,” said Thinaah.

“This win did not come easy. I’ve put in a lot of hard work since joining the national team. 

“Now, I’ll be eyeing bigger achievements,” added Thinaah, who is grateful to her coach Sairul and her parents, who came all the way from Klang to support her.

National No. 3 Goh Soon Huat-Shevon Lai Jemie also nicked their first national title when they toiled for 65 minutes before stopping a stubborn Chan Peng Soon-Chow Mei Kuan 21-19, 16-21, 21-17 in the mixed doubles final. 

Said Shevon: “Soon Huat and I really blended well today. It’s not easy to play against the experienced Peng Soon but we put our hearts together and played as one today.”

The duo’s next assignment is the Malaysian Open in Kuching in April.

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