Making myself proud is the new perfection

Nur Dhabitah Sabri: Tokyo 2020 placement shows anything is possible

Her near miss of the medals podium in Tokyo has given her a boost, she says, heading into this 2022 season.

“Although I didn’t win a medal at the time, it really goes to show that no matter where you’re from, you actually can win. It’s not an impossible feat,” Nur Dhabitah explained. “Honestly, I was actually expecting to finish in sixth, or just about anything after the fifth ranking. So, when I found out that I came in fourth, it made me realize that I really can make it onto the podium one day.

“I just need to train even harder, and keep improving myself. The most important thing to know is that no matter where you come from, you can always be the winner.”

But winning, of course, isn’t at the top of her mind. Nur Dhabitah, in fact, admits that when she’s competing there’s not much on her mind at all.

“Oh, I don’t think at all before I make the jump. I just jumped!” she says.

Later adding, “Of course, during training, there’s a lot to think about — things like needing to keep my legs straight, or my arms steady — and that’s because I’m trying to improve. But if I think too much before I jump, I’ll just end up splashing and making mistakes for the next few rounds.”

The hard work has paid off with Nur Dhabitah taking three medals at the Commonwealth Games, including individual silver in the 3m, and bronze in 10m synchro at the World Championships in the 2022 season.

“People think that diving is not as ‘tiring’ as we describe it, because they assume that all we need to do is jump into the water, and that’s it. But obviously, it’s so much more than that! It’s not just the stairs that we climb to get to the platform, but it’s also about the techniques that we practice when we’re training that really makes it tiring,” she says of the regime that has been so fruitful.

“We have to always be focused, otherwise anything can happen. We can accidentally hit our head on the board and get injured. It’s a very serious thing, so we always have to be careful. That’s why, after training, we are usually very quiet because we’ve used up the energy of both our bodies and our minds. “

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