Dhabitah’s ‘magic wand’

PETALING JAYA: From movies to books, Olympian diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri has found Harry Potter good company during a quiet season without competitions.

After watching the popular series countless times, the 22-year-old has finally dived into reading them. She has started with the first book – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

“I’ve watched all the movies over and over again. I was told the books are better and I’ve picked up my first. True enough, I’m hooked into reading them now, ” said Dhabitah.

“I’m an avid fan of Harry Potter series. In a way, it takes away the boredom of our daily training.”

Inspired by the series filled with wizardry, witchcraft and exciting adventures, Dhabitah hopes to make her second Olympics in Tokyo from July 23-Aug 9 a magical one.

She is one of the four divers, who have qualified for the Olympics, in the 3pm springboard individual. The others are Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee and Wendy Ng.

Dhabitah qualified by virtue of emerging as the winner at the Asian Diving Cup in Bukit Jalil in 2019.

“I don’t want to mess up my head by thinking of what medal to win but I know that I want to make my second Olympics a memorable outing, ” said the 2018 Asian Games silver medal winner.

She made her debut at the 2016 Rio Games, finishing fifth with Cheong Jun Hoong in the 3m springboard synchro and ninth in the 10m platform but the experience she came back home with was invaluable.

She has invested more time and energy into her second Olympics, at the extent of even deferring her diploma in safety and health studies with the University of Cyberjaya.

“Without many tournaments, I’ve been really focusing on training and it can be tiring sometimes to do the same thing daily but I try to keep myself motivated, ” she said.

“My teammates and I took part in an online competition last year and I won the 3m springboard synchro with Wendy, by keeping a good score and performance.

“That was a good indication that I’m on the right track in my preparation for Tokyo, ” said Dhabitah, who picked up the sport at seven before making it to the national team at the age of 13.

“I’ve been doing this for a really long time but I’ve no plans to stop at all. I’m even looking beyond the Tokyo Olympics, ” she said.

Barring any changes due to the uncertainty around the Covid-19 pandemic, Dhabitah’s next competition should be the World Cup in Tokyo from April 18-23, which is also the last Olympics qualifier.

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