PETALING JAYA: Wendy Ng Yan Yee hopes to lay to rest the ghost of last year’s painful World Cup result when she reunites with Nur Dhabitah Sabri in the women’s 3m springboard synchro event.
The two Commonwealth Games-bound divers will be the last two Malaysians to see action on the final day of the World Championships today at the Duna Arena in Budapest.
It will be the first time after more than a year that the two will compete as a pair.
They savoured their finest outing together when they bagged silver at the Indonesia Asian Games in 2018 but then missed out on qualification for the 2020 Olympics after finishing 15th in the preliminary round in the World Cup in Tokyo in May last year.
But Wendy can draw inspiration from Dhabitah, who is bubbling with confidence after winning bronze in the women’s 10m platform synchro with Pandelela Rinong on Thursday.
“Sixth or a seventh place would have been enough for us to earn a quota slot at the Tokyo Olympics but we blew it after the first three dives,” said Wendy.
“We are determined to do better this time. It will be tough to fight for a medal but what’s important is to see where we stand against our Commonwealth Games rivals, especially from England, Australia and Britain.
“If we can do this, we have a fighting chance to snatch a medal in Birmingham (July 27-Aug 8),” said the 28-year-old, who was placed eighth with Dhabitah in the event at the last world meet in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019.
Wendy partnered with youngster Ong Ker Ying at the Vietnam SEA Games in May and they secured gold for Malaysia in the event
Diving coach Li Rui, however, is banking on experience in getting Wendy and Dhabitah back in the 3m springboard synchro for the Commonwealth Games stage.
Chang Yani-Cheng Yiwen should continue China’s proud winning streak by defending the women’s 3m springboard title as they look to take over from two-time Olympic Games champions Shi Tingmao-Wang Han.
Also expected to contend strongly for podium spots are Australia and Germany.
Australia will field the very experienced pairing of Maddison Keeney-Annabelle Smith, bronze medallists in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, while Germany will count on Lena Hentschel-Tina Punzel, also bronze winners at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.