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Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 4:47:00 PM
Tuesday September 10, 2013 MYT 4:48:45 PM
by lim teik huat
Nur Dhabitah Sabri: 'It is really a dream come true to make a SEA Games debut at my age, I will do my best in Myanmar but now I would like to concentrate on doing well in the Asian Diving Cup first.'
KUALA LUMPUR: Youngsters Loh Zhiayi and Nur Dhabitah Sabri are out to justify their selection for the SEA Games diving squad by delivering a strong performance at the Asian Diving Cup in Singapore this weekend.
SEA Games host Myanmar’s restriction on the number of athletes a country can send per sport (six men and six women) has forced Amateur Swimming Union Association of Malaysia (Asum) to abandon their plan to send as many back-up divers as possible.
Despite being a dominant force in the region’s diving event, after bagging seven out of the eight SEA Games golds in Indonesia, Malaysia are taking no chances and have listed seniors like Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee, Cheong Jun Hoong and Wendy Ng Yan Yee, leaving only two remaining spots to be battled out among the female back-up divers.
Zhiayi, who created history by winning Malaysia’s first silver medal at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing recently, and Dhabitah, a South-East Asian Championships double gold medallist, were listed ahead of seniors Traisy Vivien Tukiet and Kam Ling Kar, silver medallists at the Indonesia SEA Games two years ago.
“I will have to continue to prove myself and the Asian Diving Cup could not have come at a better time for me to do so.
“I will try to win some medals in Singapore but what is more important is to execute my dive well with minimal mistakes.
“The SEA Games will be a different thing altogether. It is a senior level competition, so I am really glad to be selected,” said 16-year-old Zhiayi.
Equally delighted is Dhabitah, who together with Zhiayi produced a three-gold harvest for Federal Territories at the Kuantan Sukma last year.
“It is really a dream come true to make a SEA Games debut at my age, I will do my best in Myanmar but now I would like to concentrate on doing well in the Asian Diving Cup first,” said the 14-year-old, who cannot wait to compete in Singapore. It will be only her second competition of the year.
Dhabitah made an impressive debut at the United States Fina Grand Prix in Fort Lauderdale in May and only missed out on making the women’s 10m platform semi-finals after finishing 14th in the preliminaries.
She did not qualify to compete in both the Asian Youth Games this year and World Junior Diving Championships in Australia last year as she was just below the age limit.
But she is certainly the diver to watch as she is able to execute a 207C (back 3.5 somersault tuck), carrying a high degree of difficulty at 3.3.
Besides Zhiayi and Dhabitah, the other divers who will be heading to Singapore for the Asian Diving Cup are Traisy, Ling Kar, Jasmine Lai and Adeline Chin, while Muhd Nazreen Abdullah and Muhd Danial Sabri, Dhabitah’s elder brother, make up the boys’ team.
Tags / Keywords:
diving, Loh Zhiayi, Nur Dhabitah Sabri, SEA Games, Asian Diving Cup
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