PETALING JAYA: Young diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri has put herself in line for a place in the individual 10m platform event alongside the illustrious Pandelela Rinong at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games following a strong performance at the German Grand Prix in Rostock.
The 15-year-old Dhabitah managed to clear the semi-finals of the individual 10m platform at a World Grand Prix meet for the first time.
Dhabitah scored 302.85 points en route to a fourth spot in the preliminaries. The top 12 divers advanced to the semis but Dhabitah’s run was halted when she could only finish fifth in her semi-final grouping with 269.20 points.
The top three divers from the two semi-final groupings progressed to the final, which was eventually won by China’s Qian Ren with 353.40 points.
China completed a 1-2 sweep with Jie Lian taking the silver with 344.25 points while Ukrainian Jullia Prokopchuk was third with a 325.55 total.
Dhabitah, in fact, outshined her more experienced team-mate Traisy Vivien Tukiet, who competed at the 2012 London Olympics. Traisy failed to qualify for the semi-finals and was only placed 16th in the preliminaries with 260.55 points.
Coach Yang Zhuliang was full of praise for Dhabitah.
“Dhabitah performed better than Traisy for the second time at the Grand Prix level.
“Dhabitah had a very good chance to make the final as she was lying in third position with one dive to go in the semis. But she flopped the last dive and earned less than 20 points. Her nerves failed her but I still think it’s a good performance for Dhabitah,” said Zhuliang.
With more experience, the Chinese coach is convinced his young charge can go far.
“The main assignments this year are the Commonwealth Games (in July) and Asian Games (in September).
“If she improves further in the next few months, she should be going for both Games,” added Zhuliang.
The Kuala Lumpur-born Dhabitah was promoted to the elite squad last year and she made her SEA Games debut in Myanmar in style, bagging gold with Leong Mun Yee in the 10m platform synchro.
In Rostock, Dhabitah was also entered for the individual 3m springboard but did not qualify for the semis. Dhabitah and Adeline Chin finished 15th (227.85 points) and 18th (223.65 points) respectively.
Chew Yi Wei, the only Malaysian male diver in the fray, was placed 26th in the individual 3m springboard prelimaries with a 326.45 total.