Seasoned campaigner combines well with Dhabitah to finish second in last show


Stellar performance: Wendy Ng Yan Yee (top) and Nur Dhabitah Sabri in action during the 3m springboard synchro final. — S.S. KANESAN/The Star

FOUR outings, four silvers – and all in the same event. That’s the amazing feat by diver Wendy Ng Yan Yee, one no other Malaysian has been able to match.

Sadly though, the silver she won in the women’s 3m springboard synchro final with partner Nur Dhabitah Sabri at Hangzhou Aquatic Sports Centre yesterday will be the 30-year-old’s last.

The Kuala Lumpur-born diver felt it was time to bid goodbye.

“I won’t be around for the next Games. It’s time for the younger divers to partner Dhabitah,” she said.

“The dream of a fourth medal kept me going all these years but it’s not easy as your body ages. It’s a good achievement to let the younger divers to aim for,” said Wendy, who is only diving in the women’s 3m springboard synchro this time.

“I’m happy we were able to maintain our silver.

“I started my journey in China and also ended it in China,” said the former Olympic 3m springboard finalist.

Wendy was just a teenager and yet to learn how to drive a car when she made her Asian Games debut with a silver in the women’s 3m springboard synchro in Guangzhou back in 2010.

A second silver followed in Incheon four years later with partner Cheong Jun Hoong. Wendy also took silver with Dhabitah in the same event in Jakarta five years ago.

Yesterday, it nearly looked like she would not be able to retain the silver after a wobbly second dive, which only earned them 36.60 points.

That resulted in Wendy-Dhabitah slipping to third.

The Malaysian pairing, however, recovered quickly to regain second spot in the next dive and held on to finish the five-dive competition with 270.27 points.

Reigning Olympic and world champions Cheng Yani-Chen Yiwen amassed 335.73 points to hand China the gold. South Korean pair Park Har-eum-Kim Su-ji took bronze with 253.56 points.

Wendy, however, has a capable successor in Dhabitah.

The silver yesterday was the second medal for Dhabitah in Hangzhou, who had partnered Pandelela Rinong to take bronze in the women’s 10m platform synchro on Saturday.

She will also dive in the women’s 1m springboard individual today with newcomer Ong Ker Ying.

“This medal gives us the confidence to continue with our preparations for the world championships in Doha early next year.

“It will be important for us to do well and try to win a slot at the Paris Olympics,” said 24-year-old Dhabitah.

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