Thursday February 11, 2010
Josiah marks milestone with place in pro trade team
By LIM TEIK HUAT
PETALING JAYA: It has been a decade of service to the country but track cyclist Josiah Ng’s (pic) enthusiasm for the sport is still on fire.
Josiah turned 30 on Feb 2 and his unflagging commitment to national duties has been rewarded with a spot in the Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) pro trade team.
Josiah is among seven elite squad riders who will be fielded by the Malaysian National Cycling Federation (MNCF) for the 2010-2011 World Cup series. The others are Azizul Hasni Awang, Rizal Tisin, Junaidi Nasir, Mohd Edrus Yunos and Hafiz Sufian with Fatehah Mustapa as the sole Malaysian women’s rider.
It will be the country’s first pro trade team to be registered with the International Cycling Union (UCI), thanks to a recent RM2mil injection in funds from YSD.
And Josiah sees it as a boost to the efforts to further raise the profile of Malaysian cycling as the presence of a pro trade team will open up opportunities to compete at the world level.
Pro trade teams are separate from national sides. The top cycling countries, among them France, Australia, Britain, Germany, Japan and even China, have their trade teams in the World Cup series.
“I can hardly believe that I have done 10 years of cycling for Malaysia,” said Josiah.
“A lot has changed in track cycling. Where it was myself chasing the honours previously, we now have a group of cyclists training together.
“It’s fun and I’m more motivated than ever. Everyone is training hard and the competition is pushing us to improve ourselves. It’s going to be a big year for us as we are aiming to do well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.”
Josiah is a two-time silver medallist in the Asian Games – in 2002 (Busan) and 2006 (Doha).
Josiah, who got married last year, has no plans to return home for the Chinese New Year with his in-laws due to his commitment to training.
“The world championships are coming up next month and training has already started,” said Josiah, who together with Azizul will be the only Malaysian representatives in the meet in Copenhagen from March 24-28.
Both will compete in the keirin and 200m sprint events.
Josiah did well to bag a keirin bronze medal behind Azizul in the World Cup leg in Melbourne last November. He also made the keirin final, which was eventually won by Azizul.
And it is not beyond him to pull off a surprise in Copenhagen.