PETALING JAYA: Nur Dhabitah Sabri became the youngest Malaysian diver to win at a senior international competition by bagging a double at the South-East Asia (SEA) Swimming Championships in Singapore.
The diving competition concluded at the Toa Payoh Sports School yesterday with Malaysia stamping their mark by winning six of the eight gold medals contested.
And Nur Dhabitah, only 13, stood out as the latest promising talent from Malaysia.
Despite having a lower total dive difficulty of 11.2, Dhabitah amassed 240.75 points to beat the Indonesia SEA Games medal winner Sari Ambarwati in the women’s 3m springboard final.
Sari, who clinched silver and bronze when her country hosted the SEA Games last November, settled for silver with 237.70 points on a higher total dive difficulty of 13.1. Adeline Chin gave Malaysia the bronze on 224.45.
Nur Dhabitah completed her double golden act by scoring 220.20 in the 1m springboard final.
Adeline secured the 1-2 finish for Malaysia with 206.65 points ahead of Singapore’s Fong Kay Yian (188.65).
Kam Ling Kar, the silver medallist when she made her debut at last year’s SEA Games, took the women’s 10m platform gold medal with 277.35 points.
Ling Kar partnered Jasmine Lai Pui Yee to complete the impressive sweep of the gold medals with their triumph in the 3m springboard synchro.
The male divers contributed two gold medals through Chew Yi Wei in the 1m springboard and Muhammad Nazreen in the 10m platform.
Malaysia opted to send the back-up and Pelapis divers for the inaugural championships, which will be staged in the year when the SEA Games are not held.
And Nur Dhabitah has made her presence felt in her very first international assignment.
The pint-sized diver actually started out as a swimmer when she was seven.
However, her father Sabri Hashim, a teacher, realised her physique was more suitable for diving and got her to switch when she turned eight.
She made good progress and won honours at the MSSM (national schools) meet.
Dhabitah said there is still a lot of room for improvement and hopes to develop further now that she has been absorbed into the Pelapis squad primed for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“I hope to compete for Malaysia on the world stage one day just like my idol Bryan Nickson Lomas.
“It took two years just to master the basic skills but I like to dive the springboard now,” said Dhabitah, who will be out to make an impact for Federal Territories in the Sukma (Malaysia Games) in Kuantan next month.
Swimming takes centre stage from today as the SEA championships will be the last Olympic qualifying event in the region.
Malaysia have sent a total of 14 swimmers led by Siow Yi Ting, Christina Loh, Khoo Cai Lin and Kevin Yeap, all gold medallists at the SEA Games last year.
1m springboard: 1. Chew Yi Wei (Mas)
299.00, 2. Timothy Lee (Sin) 281.20, 3.. Mark
Lee (Sin) 268.65.
3m springboard: 1. Sukran Kamjami (Ina)
352.80, 2. Chew Yi Wei (Mas) 316.65, 3.
Muhammad Nazreeen (Mas) 298.40.
10m platform: 1. Muhammad Nazreen
(Mas) 315.60, 2. Jonathan Chan (Sin) 295.35.
3m springboard synchro: 1. Ahmad
Andriyan-Sukran Kamjami (Ina) 309.66, 2.
Muhammad Danial-Muhammad Nazreen
(Mas) 304.05, 3. Mark Lee-Timothy Lee (Mas)
1m springboard: 1. Nur Dhabitah (Mas)
220.20, 2. Adeline Chin (Mas) 206.65, 3. Fong
Kay Yian (Sin) 188.65.
3m springboard: 1. Nur Dhabitah Sabri
(Mas) 240.75, 2. Sari Ambarwati (Ina) 237.70,
3. Adeline Chin (Mas) 224.45.
10m platform: 1. Kam Ling Kar (Mas)
277.35, 2. Loh Zhia Yi (Mas) 250.50, 3. Della
Dinarsari (Ina) 207.15.
3m springboard synchro: 1. Jasmine Lai Pui
Yee-Kam Ling Kar (Mas) 277.35, 2.. Myra Lee-
Fong Kay Yian (Sin) 250.50, 3. Maria Natalie
Dinda-Sari Ambarwati (Ina) 207.15.