PETALING JAYA: Diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri is relishing the chance to help keep Malaysia’s proud record in the FINA Diving World Series this year.
The 19-year-old has been named as the replacement for Cheong Jun Hoong and will partner Pandelela Rinong to compete in the women’s 10m platform synchro event for the first two legs of the series.
This year’s series starts with the first leg in Sagamihara, Japan (March 1-3), Beijing, China (March 7-9), Montreal, Canada (April 26-28) and Kazan, Russia (May 10-12) before the finale in London (May 17-19).
The prestigious series is only for the top eight-ranked divers in the world, with seven Malaysians who had qualified.
However, Jun Hoong went for surgery on her left knee after pulling out of the Asian Games in Jakarta last August and is still going through the recovery process.
The reigning world champion in the 10m platform individual is keeping herself out of pool training at least until March as she needs at least six months to recover fully.
Jun Hoong-Pandelela took silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and they achieved the feat of winning a medal each in all four legs last year.
Jun Hoong-Pandelela, the reigning Commonwealth Games champions, started well by taking silver in the first leg in Beijing and claimed bronze in Fuji, Japan.
They went on to clinch a historic gold medal in the third leg of the series in Montreal, Canada before finishing off with a bronze in Kazan.
“It is a big responsibility for me as Malaysia have always done well in this event,” said Dhabitah, who will also dive in the women’s 3m springboard synchro and individual events.
“But I will take it as a challenge to improve my game. It’s not the first time I have partnered Pandelela as we won bronze in the 10m platform synchro at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (in Glasgow).
“I want to focus on my game and communication will also be important as it will help us dive well,” added Dhabitah, the first Malaysian female diver to win three medals at the Asian Games.
The other Malaysians taking part in the series are Wendy Ng Yan Yee , Leong Mun Yee, Jellson Jabillin and Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya.
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