Nur Dhabitah champing at the bit to get started

by BERNAMA

TOKYO – The challenging period of the COVID-19 pandemic has only fueled the spirit of young national diver Nur Dhabitah Sabri (picture) ahead of competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 22-year-old and her teammate Wendy Ng Yan Yee, 28, are scheduled to continue the national diving camp’s challenge in the women’s individual 3 metre (m) springboard event starting tomorrow.

The action at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre will be her second appearance on the Olympic stage and after months of intensive training in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Nur Dhabitah can no longer contain her excitement to perform.

“My heart is pounding but at the same time I can’t wait, because it (preparation for Tokyo) was very long, so you just want to get it done,” the silver and two bronze medalist at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games told Bernama.

Nur Dhabitah had previously admitted that she felt ‘stressed’ after not seeing and spending quality time with her family due to being “holed up” in a sports bubble ahead of the prestigious sporting event.

However, the 2019 Asian Cup Diving Championship champion remains highly motivated, and has even set a personal goal to win her maiden Olympic medal in Tokyo.

With no medals produced by the Malaysian contingent so far, Nur Dhabitah will have the opportunity to become the first national athlete to do so if she manages to set foot in the final on Sunday.

At the Rio 2016 Olympics, she was 17 at the time, and reached the final of the women’s individual 10m platform where she finished in ninth place, while compatriot Pandelela Rinong Pamg came in 11th.

Entering a different event this time, Nur Dhabitah will be fiercely opposed by divers from China, Canada, Australia and Great Britain in the preliminary round action and semi-final stage (Saturday) in the quest for a slot in the final.

On paper, she seems to have to “climb Mount Fuji in the winter” in order to step on to the podium in Tokyo, but the youngest of four siblings is fully prepared.

“I have trained all my life for this (Olympic Games), of course I can’t wait to compete,” added the former Bukit Jalil Sports School (SSBJ) student.