Thursday, October 28, 2010

Josiah all pumped up for another strong showing in Asiad

PETALING JAYA: Track cyclist Josiah Ng (pic) made Malaysian cycling history with a gold medal-winning effort in the Delhi Commonwealth Games early this month but he has consigned it to the back of his mind.
The preparations for the Guangzhou Asian Games take centre stage and Josiah resumed training in Melbourne with the rest of the track squad under coach John Beasley last week.
His triumph in the keirin event in New Delhi and a bronze medal from the team sprint have invigorated Josiah and he is all pumped up for another strong showing in Guangzhou.
Two-time world championship silver medallist Azizul Hasni Awang had finished first in the Commonwealth Games kerin final but he was disqualified for what was deemed a dangerous sprinting move. To Malaysia’s relief, Josiah was the second-place finisher to be promoted to gold medal position.
Josiah, who has been riding for the country for the past decade, is looking forward to competing in the Asian Games for a third time with plenty of optimism.
“It used to be Azizul alone taking the pressure but I’m glad I got my level up at the right time,” said the 30-year-old.
“It has been a difficult couple of years as I was always in the limelight before and along came Azizul. It was tough for me, especially as Azizul and Rizal (Tisin) were winning medals at the world championships and World Cup.
“These younger guys provided me with the push I needed to find myself again. But everything is behind me.
“It’s now back to Asian Games training.”
In the two previous Asiad, Josiah won a silver medal on both occasions. It was in the keirin event in 2002 (Busan) and he got on the rostrum in the same position for the sprint in 2006 (Doha).
Malaysia secured their best-ever haul of 1-1-1 in Commonwealth Games cycling in New Delhi and Josiah is keeping his fingers crossed that they can match or better it in Guangzhou.
At the Delhi games, Rizal started the ball rolling with a silver in the 1km time trial.
“The Commonwealth Games is A-class and we surpassed our expectations. Keep in mind, we got four medals but we were robbed of one,” he said.
“We want to go to China and match it but we really have to improve a lot. But if we get everything right and hit our peak, we will be lethal at the Asian Games.”
For the Guangzhou Games, Josiah is down for the individual keirin and sprint events with Azizul.
The Melbourne-based track squad will be leaving early for Guangzhou next week ahead of the competitions beginning on Nov 15.
The only time Malaysia won gold medals in Asiad cycling was 40 years ago. Malaysia won two gold medals then in Bangkok in 1970 through Daud Ibrahim and Ng Joo Ngan. It was 32 years later in Busan that Josiah ended a medal drought for Malaysia with the silver in keirin

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