KUALA LUMPUR: Young diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri could not have asked for a better setting to check into next year’s Rio Olympic Games.
With her parents, Fadzidah Jaafar and Sabri Hashim, watching from the stands at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil, the 16-year-old qualified for the Olympics in stunning fashion – winning the women’s 10m platform individual final at the Asian Diving Cup.
Kuala Lumpur-born Dhabitah pulled off a superb final dive of 78.40 points to beat China’s Suo Miya to the gold medal with a five-dive total of 383.10.
The China girl did not have a clean entry in her final dive and relinquished her lead after collecting just 70.40 points. That saw her settle for the silver with a 380.10 total.
Malaysia’s 2014 Youth Olympics silver medallist Loh Zhiayi took the bronze with 346.10 points.
Dhabitah, who rushed up the stands to celebrate with her parents, described the win as “unexpected” as she could only finish fourth with 314.05 points in the preliminaries on Saturday morning.
“My parents have been my biggest supporters all this while ... they’ve always believed that I would come good in diving one day,” said a teary-eyed Dhabitah, who won a bronze with Pandelela Rinong at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games last year.
“Without them, I don’t think I’d be here. They hardly see me in action as most of the competitions are outside the country ... and I think their presence here today comforted me. They gave me the thumbs-up sign each time I finished my dives.
“I didn’t want to disappoint them.
“I’m not celebrating yet as I still have one more event tomorrow (in women’s 3m springboard individual with Cheong Jun Hoong).”
The Asian Diving Cup is a continental qualifying event for the Olympics, but only the four individual winners – men’s and women’s 3m springboard and 10m platform – are assured of places in Rio.
Dhabitah is the fourth Malaysian diver to qualify for the Rio Olympics and Malaysia have now secured the maximum two slots in the women’s 10m individual platform, with Pandelela Rinong having made the cut at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan last month.
Wendy Ng Yan Yee has qualified for the women’s 3m springboard while Ooi Tze Liang stole the limelight when he won the men’s 3m springboard competition here on Friday.
Men's 3m springboard synchro: 1. Kim Yeong-nam-Woo Ha-ram (Kor) 396.48, 2. Zhong Yuming-Huang Bowen (Chn) 379.02, 3. Adityo Restu Putra-Andriyan Andriyan (Ina) 336.21.
Men's 1m springboard individual: 1. Peng Jianfeng (Chn) 382.70, 2. Zhong Yuming (Chn) 358.10, 3. Woo Ha-ram (Kor) 345.90, 4. Muhd Syafiq Puteh (Mas) 320.75.
Women's 3m springboard synchro: 1. Xu Zhihuan-Wu Chunting (Chn) 297.90, 2. Jasmine Lai-Kam Ling Kar (Mas) 265.83, 3. Kim Na-mi-Kim Su-ji (Kor) 264.36.
Women's 10m platform individual: 1. Nur Dhabitah Sabri (Mas) 383.10, 2. Suo Miya (Chn) 380.10, 3. Loh Zhiayi (Mas) 346.10.
Mixed 10m platform synchro: 1. Tai Xiaohu-Lian Jie (Chn) 341.28, 2. Chew Yiwei-Traisy Vivien Tukiet (Mas) 296.82, 3. Son Tae-lang- Cho Eun-bi (Kor) 286.20.