Gabriel-Julfaddli snatch 3m springboard synchro gold despite just a day’s training

KUALA LUMPUR – Sabah divers Gabriel Gilbert Daim and Julfaddli Jali – paired up for the first time and armed with only a day’s training – produced a stunning performance to clinch gold in the men’s 3-metre (m) springboard synchronised event at the 20th Malaysia Games (Sukma) here today.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gabriel and Julfaddlli beat the odds to capture the first gold medal offered in diving by collecting 317.37 points at the National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalil here.

Although they are from the same state, the 20-year-old Gabriel, being a national diver, trains in Bukit Jalil while Julfaddli trains with the state team at the Likas Sports Complex swimming pool in Kota Kinabalu.

“He (Julfaddli) just arrived here two days ago and we only managed to train together for a day… that’s not enough time to synchronise our dive, but we are pleased with our overall performance.

“Each diver has his way of diving, some prefer to jump from a higher place, some from a lower place, so I had to follow his rhythm. I was previously paired up with (another national diver) Jellson Jabillin, who is out injured this time,” said Gabriel.

Commenting on the overall performance of the divers this time, Gabriel said that while many had shown improvement, the parties responsible should also be prepared to assist in the development of the sport by providing relevant facilities.

Gabriel bagged silver in the men’s 3m springboard synchronised with Muhammad Syafiq Puteh in Birmingham 2022 recently.

Meanwhile, Julfaddli, 19, said he was proud to pair up with the Commonwealth Games medallist.

“I learned a lot from him, like jumping and take-off techniques, walking (in a balanced manner) on the board,” said Julfaddli, who has been involved in diving since he was 12.

Federal Territories’ Nurqayyum Nazmi Mohamad Nazim-Yong Rui Jie had to be contented with silver after notching 308.40 points while Sarawak’s Elvis Priestly Clement-Soh Tze Kang (303.84) took home bronze.

In the men’s platform synchronised event, Julfaddli combined with Mohd Anilrian Normatrud Abdullah to take bronze with 291.78 points.

Elvis Priestly-Jared Aiden Harold (334.44 pts) captured gold while Nurqayyum Nazmi-Rui Jie (329.82) ended up second. – Bernama