Dhabitah’s first World Championship medal ‘still feels like a dream’


The duo on the podium after winning a bronze.-Reuters

PETALING JAYA: It still hasn’t sunk in yet for Nur Dhabitah Sabri as she joins the ranks of Pandelela Rinong, Leong Mun Yee and Cheong Jun Hoong as a world championship medallist.

The diver with the captivating smile made it a sweet first when she partnered Pandelela to clinch bronze in the women’s 10m platform synchro final at the world meet in Budapest on Thursday.

Hold your breath: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (left) and Pandelela Rinong under the water after executing their dive in the women’s 10m platform synchro final at the World Championships in Budapest. — ReutersHold your breath: Nur Dhabitah Sabri (left) and Pandelela Rinong under the water after executing their dive in the women’s 10m platform synchro final at the World Championships in Budapest. — Reuters

Dhabitah-Pandelela got their acts right to earn 298.68 points for a third-place finish which serves as a timely boost to their Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham from July 27-Aug 8.

It was Pandelela’s third successive world meet medal in the 10 platform synchro event.

China’s Quan Hongchan-Chen Yuxin were in a class of their own as they cruised to gold with 368.40 points.

Americans Delaney Schnell-Katrina Young nailed their fifth and final dive of the night to deny the Malaysians the silver with their total of 299.40 points.

It is still a commendable performance as Pandelela-Dhabitah were only placed sixth in the preliminaries with 270.90 points earlier in the day.

Dhabitah was delighted to achieve a podium result on the world stage in only her third competition with Pandelela.

Dhabitah partnered Pandelela to take bronze in the women’s 10m platform synchro at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and they reunited to win gold in the Vietnam SEA Games in May.

“It still feels like a dream to me. My first world championship medal and I’m very grateful to have a good partner to help me throughout the event,” said the 22-year-old.

“I also can’t do it without coach (Li Rui), my awesome team that supported me on site and the amazing people back home.

“We were never outside the top three today (yesterday). I feel that we are on the right track for the Commonwealth Games.”

Pandelela, who secured bronze in the 10m platform individual earlier in the week, was pleased to make the podium in her last event in Budapest.

“It means a lot to me to have this podium. The last few days have been very long and tiring, so I’m really happy that we’ve made the dives well,” said Pandelela, who finished fifth in the mixed team event with Ooi Tze Liang on Wednesday.

Youngster Gilbert Gabriel Daim failed to make any headway in the men’s 1m springboard after he finished 46th out of 48 divers and missed out on the top-12 final.

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