Springboard silver a sweet surprise for Dhabitah


DIVER Nur Dhabitah Sabri plunged into the competition without any expectations after a year-long absence from the women’s 3m springboard individual but she has even surprised herself by winning another silver in the Commonwealth Games.

Dhabitah, flashing her trademark infectious smile, came close to snatching a shock win for Malaysia when she led for the first three rounds at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre on Sunday.

The turning point came in the penultimate round when Australia’s Maddison Keeney scored 75.95 to overtake Dhabitah, who posted her lowest score of the night at 55.50.

Former Olympic and world championships medallist Keeney, who bagged the gold for Australia with Anabelle Smith in the 3m springboard synchro on Saturday, was then awarded 72.00 for her final dive to triumph with 348.95 points.

Dhabitah posted 67.50 to settle for silver with 330.90 points.

Canadian Mia Vallee, the 1m springboard individual winner earlier, took bronze with 329.25 points. She was the silver medal winner at the last world championships.

Another Malaysian diver Ong Ker Ying finished 12th with 231.60 points.

Dhabitah may have missed out on the gold but it was still a fine achievement as it is the first time Malaysia won a Commonwealth Games medal in the women’s 3m springboard individual.

It’s also the first individual medal for Dhabitah in three Commonwealth Games appearances.

Dhabitah won silver with Wendy Ng Yan Yee in the 3m springboard synchro on Friday and getting a second medal was the last thing on her mind.

“What’s more important for me was to have fun and enjoy the competition in the 3m springboard individual actually. And I really enjoyed it,” said Dhabitah.

“I was not so focused on this event as my target was the 10m platform individual and synchro, so the last time I dived in the 3m springboard was during the Tokyo Olympics last year,” added the 23-year-old, who qualified for the final in sixth spot (276.25).

Dhabitah, whose effort in Birmingham was better than her fourth place finish (326.15) at the Tokyo Olympics, has no regrets settling for silver behind the Australian.

“I’ve nothing to be sad about. I knew the 3m springboard competition will be hard. It is competitive and there are lots of good divers at the Games.

“I didn’t even look at the scoreboard. I’m just happy to win another medal.”

In the men’s 10m platform individual final, 17-year-old Bertrand Rhodict Lises finished a creditable sixth in his Games debut with 419.60 points.

Bertrand was the only Malaysian to qualify for the top 12 final after finishing sixth with 396.60 points. Hanis Nazirul Jaya Surya did not make the cut after placing 14th in the preliminaries (300.90).

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