KUALA LUMPUR (April 5): Two of the country’s top divers – Datuk Pandelela Rinong Pamg and Nur Dhabitah Sabri – are set to renew their combination at the Hanoi SEA Games in Vietnam from May 12-23.
The latest development, thus, puts an end to questions regarding who will partner Pandelela in the women’s 10-metre (m) platform synchronised event following the retirement of Datuk Leong Mun Yee last December.
In confirming this, national diving head coach Li Rui said Nur Dhabitah was chosen to combine with Pandelela in the women’s 10m platform synchronised event in Hanoi after proving herself throughout the preparation period for the biennial Games.
“After the (Tokyo 2020) Olympic Games ended, we made preparations for the platform event. So far, the Pandelela-Nur Dhabitah combination looks good. Actually, she (Nur Dhabitah) hasn’t competed in the platform event for three years but she’s still okay and not awkward,” he said.
Li Rui, who spoke in Mandarin and whose answers were translated by assistant coach Mun Yee, said this at a media conference held by the Malaysian contingent bound for the Hanoi SEA Games at the National Sports Council (NSC) in Bukit Jalil today.
The Pandelela-Nur Dhabitah partnership in the 10m platform synchronised event is not something new as they had previously combined to win the bronze medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and a silver medal at the fourth FINA World Diving Series in Windsor, Canada in 2017.
Li Rui added that Nur Dhabitah would also compete in the women’s 1m springboard individual event in Hanoi.
However, he said the diver, who is famous for her radiant smile, will not be competing in the 3m springboard synchronised event and, as such, will miss out on defending the gold medal she won with Wendy Ng at the previous edition.
Meanwhile, the Chinese coach reiterated the diving team’s resolve to achieve a complete sweep of all the eight gold medals on offer.
“As some of the divers will be making their debut at the SEA Games, this is a challenge thrown to them and the whole squad. So far, they have all shown encouraging progress,” he said.
The eight diving events to be contested at the Hanoi SEA Games are the 10m platform synchronised, 3m springboard synchronised, 3m springboard individual and 1m springboard individual for men and women. — Bernama