By John Tan and Archana Patrick
Throughout the history of wrestling, wrestlers have typically been athletic men and women. Now, there’s a new girl in town breaking barriers in the world of wrestling!
KL-ite, Nor Diana is currently making headlines as the first ever hijab-wearing wrestler. Don’t let her looks fool you – she may be only nineteen years old but she has proven that she can kick some serious butt!
Dressed in her signature flame-patterned trousers, a black and orange hijab and top, Nor Diana uses sophisticated moves to defeat her rivals in the ring. Her quick agility is her ultimate secret weapon that gives her an edge during battles.
At the tender age of 14, Nor Diana occupied herself by watching wrestling video games and TV shows with her brother. She recalls being moved and actually finding her calling in the competitive sport when she saw Sasha Banks in action on the telly.
This immediately inspired her to join MyPW, the country’s only pro-wrestling organisation. The rest as they say is history!
Battling it out in the ring
Among local wrestlers, Nor Diana is known as the “Phoenix”. Speaking to AFP, she revealed that the pseudonym is her alter ego – “As Phoenix, I’m a totally different person. She may be small, but she can do things that people can’t imagine.”
Her true personality completely differs from her onstage persona. Out of the ring, Nor Diana is shy, soft-spoken and gentle. However, as soon as she puts on her wrestling gear, she transforms into the fearless ‘Phoenix’!
Rising to the top
Since her rookie days in 2015, Nor Diana has become a force to be reckoned with. In fact, she has defeated over four men to earn her recent title – Malaysia’s wrestling champion in the Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MyPW) Fightback championship held last month.
The teenager is currently one of the two female wrestlers in the country. Her success thus far is a beacon of hope for young girls across the nation, in particular, young Muslim woman by breaking barriers and redefining what it means to be a Muslim woman in today’s world.
As a matter of fact, her success has even inspired other Muslim women to take up the competitive sport.
“As soon as she became popular, we received a lot of messages from fellow hijabis who inquired about joining wrestling as well,” her coach, Ayez Shaukat Fonseka told AFP.
“She kind of broke the barrier and just proved to them that if she can do it, they can do it, too ” he added.
Nor Diana has certainly come a long way since her days as a mere spectator of the competitive sport.
We wish ‘Phoenix’ the best of luck in achieving her dream of fighting at WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) against her role model, Sasha Banks!!
*Featured image sourced from The Star/AFP