Local diving queen Nur Dhabitah Sabri had Malaysians holding their breath on Sunday (1 August) when she participated in the final of the Women's 3m Springboard event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Despite her best efforts, the 22-year-old narrowly missed out on a podium finish, settling for fourth place
Dhabitah, who was competing in her first Olympics, exuded the confidence of a veteran Olympian as her consistency throughout all five dives see her racking up 326.15 points, just 17 points behind US diver Krysta Palmer, who took home the bronze medal.
That was the best ever performance by a Malaysian diver in the individual final after Pandelela Rinong's dive in the 10m event at the 2012 London Olympics, for which she won a bronze medal.
After her event, a teary-eyed Dhabitah told Astro Arena
that she's proud of herself and her performance, especially after such a difficult year.
She also told Astro Arena
that she was crying not because she was sad or disappointed, but it was actually "tears of joy".
"I just wanted to enjoy my dive, enjoy my game. I was not thinking of anything else.
"I cried not because I am disappointed I did not win a medal but rather because I am proud of myself of what I have achieved here. These past few months have been very difficult for me," she said.
Check out the full interview below:
Outpouring support from Malaysians
The image of Dhabitah crying touched the hearts of many, and Malaysians took to social media to throw their support to Dhabita.
In fact, her name was still the number one trending topic on Twitter a day after her event, with over 273,000 tweets.
Netizens were quick to shower her with praises, with many congratulating her for her strong finish despite this being her first ever Olympics event.
Malaysians also came out in droves to console Dhabitah:
There were also those who fell head over heels in love with her infectious personality, and to be honest, who could blame them?
Just look at her megawatt smile:
Never change, Dhabitah.
The defeat hurts, but we know that you've done your best. Keep your chin up and on to the next.
We ❤️ you!