Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah poised to crown Malaysian diving clean sweep at the 2022 SEA Games

Malaysian divers have claimed every single diving gold medal at the SEA Games 2021 in 2022 so far, and superstar plungers Pandelela Rinong and Nur Dhabitah could cap it off in the final event.

By Ken Browne
Picture by 2018 Getty Images

When Malaysia's diving coach Li Rui set out the team's targets before the SEA Games 2021 (Postponed to 2022), he kept it pretty simple:

"Our target is to win eight gold," he told the Straits Times - eight gold medals of the eight gold medals on offer, that is.

Now that might sound a little over-ambitious or even over-confident, but this coach knows his team.

It's been a glittering SEA Games campaign for Malaysia in Hanoi so far, and the coach's predictions look more like prophecy now as they have claimed every single gold medal to date, with just one day of competition to come.

Beginning with Nur Dhabitah's 1m springboard triumph on 8 May - Day 1 of diving competition - Malaysia have delivered the goods by coming out on top in every single diving event since.

And as if it was scripted, Malaysia's biggest dive star could crown a sparkling Team Malaysia performance in Hanoi, with two-time Olympic medallist Pandelela Rinong taking to the 10m synchro with Nur Dhabitah on Wednesday 11 May in the final diving event of these Games.

Dhabitah will be keen to finish what she started too, and Wednesday's final act will build to a big crescendo if the team can continue this unbeatable form.

With just the men's 3m springboard and the women's synchronised 10m to come on Wednesday, a dominant few days of diving could get the perfect ending for Malaysian fans.

Malaysia's diving team dominate at the SEA Games 2022

It began with Nur Dhabitah on Sunday 8 May when she set the tone by winning the opening event - women's 1m springboard.

On the same day Ooi Tze Liang and Chew Yiwei topped the men's 3m synchro, with Ooi doubling down a day later and bagging another gold in the men's 1m springboard.

Monday also saw Malaysia ace the women's 3m synchro, Ng Yan Yee and Ong Ker Yin triumphing in Hanoi's My Dinh Aquatics Center.

Tuesday (10 May) saw the team strike gold again in the women's 3m springboard, this time with the Ng-Ong synchro team competing against each other, and it was a Malaysian 1-2 as Ng topped the scoreboard with Ong behind her in silver medal position.

The men's 10m synchro came last late on Tuesday afternoon with the Jelson Jabillin / Hanis Nazirul duo keeping the golden standard.

Now the stage is set for the men's 3m springboard and then for Pandelela and Dhabitah to bring it home.

The future of Malaysian diving on show in Hanoi

The Vietnam SEA Games also gave us a little glimpse at Malaysia's next gen with divers like Ong Ker Ying and Kimberley Bong making their Southeast Asian games debuts.

Bong won a silver medal behind Dhabitah in the women's 1m springboard, while Ong goes home with gold and silver in her pocket.

And they weren't the only ones to prove themselves on the continental stage, Bertand Rhodict bagged bronze in the men's 1m springboard.

Malaysia's current world-beating squad has a golden glow, and the future might be even brighter.


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