sports

Instagram Features M'sian Hijabi Pro Wrestler In Celebration Of Ramadan

⁣"I might look like a timid girl whom you might not even bat an eye at, but [in the ring], I transform into my alter ego, Phoenix," the 21-year-old told Instagram.

Cover image via @Instagram (Instagram) & Nor 'Phoenix' Diana (Facebook)

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Malaysia's professional wrestling sensation Nor 'Pheonix' Diana has been featured on Instagram's official page

And it's no small honour, considering that the page has over 392 million followers.

The photo of Nor Diana was posted by Instagram on 5 May with a caption that celebrates her unique identity as the world's first hijab-wearing pro wrestler.

"Outside the ring: introverted; inside the ring: firecracker," reads the post of the unlikely wrestler, holding her 2019 Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MyPW) Wrestlecon Championship belt while donning a baju kurung.

Nor Diana told Instagram that she knows she looks like a regular and shy 21-year-old girl

⁣"I might look like a timid girl whom you might not even bat an eye at, but [in the ring], I transform into my alter ego, Phoenix," the lass from Kuala Lumpur said.

At 152cm, she also confessed that she did not get booked to perform often due to the way she looks and dresses.

However, when she defeated five men to become the first female winner at the MyPW Wrestlecon Championship in 2019 and rose to fame on the Forbes' '30 Under 30 Asia' list in 2020, everything changed.

"Once I became viral, I broke the barriers and people were starting to book me more often."

Nor Diana wrestling with a male opponent during a match in Kuala Lumpur.

Image via AFP/South China Morning Post

The wrestler also made it known that it is often not easy wearing a hijab when wrestling due to the sport's physical nature

"But I made sure I found a way to make it practical and not be a barrier for doing something that I love while holding true to my beliefs," she said.

As Instagram is celebrating Ramadan under the hashtag #MonthOfGood⁣, Nor Diana added, "I feel like Ramadan is that one time of [the year] where most people do more good than usual. And more good is ultimately better."

As of writing, the post has amassed over 400,000 likes in 12 hours, with netizens from around the world sending her their love.

Nor Diana made it onto Forbes' '30 Under 30 Asia' list in 2020 for breaking age and gender stereotypes:

Meanwhile, national diver Pandelela Rinong just won Malaysia's first-ever gold medal in the Diving World Cup yesterday: