PETALING JAYA: All eyes will be on young diver Dhabitah Nur Sabri when she takes the plunge in the German Grand Prix in Rostock this weekend.
The German meet is the second leg of this year season’s World Grand Prix Circuit and Malaysia, one of the 26 competing nations, will be represented by six divers. Besides Dhabitah, the other female divers are Olympian Trasie Vivien Tukiet, Kam Ling Kar, Adeline Chin and Jasmine Lai. Chew Yi Wei is the sole male representative.
Dhabitah will be competing in the individual 10m platform. In the 10m platform synchro, she will partner Trasie for the first time.
The 15-year-old Dhabitah will be using a difficult routine this time and it will be interesting to see whether she can hold her own against a strong cast.
She did well in her maiden appearance at the World Grand Prix Circuit in Fort Lauderdale, the United States, in May last year. She finished 14th, missing the semi-finals by only two spots.
Dhabitah then went on to claim two golds at the Asian Diving Cup in Singapore. She ended the year with a bang, clinching gold in the 10m platform synchro with Leong Mun Yee in her SEA Games debut in Myanmar.
National coach Yang Zhuliang believes Dhabitah can make an impact in Rostock.
“We started Dhabitah on a higher degree of difficulty (DD), which is even higher than for Olympic bronze medallist Pandelela Rinong.
“She did not use the routine in the SEA Games as it was not necessary at that level. But I was happy she did not let her nerves get the better of her at the Games.
“This will be the first diving competition for the year and we hope to see some good results.
“It is not going to be easy for Dhabitah to get a medal in the individual as older and experienced divers are there. We may have a chance in the women’s 10m platform synchro.
“I hope to see all our divers polish their dives. Their performances will give us an idea of where we stand ahead of the Commonwealth and Asian Games later this year,” said Zhuliang.
The divers left for Rostock from Guangzhou, China on Monday night. The national team have been training in China for the last three weeks.
Besides Rostock, Dhabitah and company will also be competing in the Canada Grand Prix in Gatineau (May 1-4), Singapore (Oct 17-19) and Kuala Lumpur (Oct 24-26).