PETALING JAYA: Cyclist Josiah Ng is shaping up well to make a strong bid in the World Track Championships in Stuttgart from July 30-Aug 3.
The 22-year-old Josiah has lowered his national record in the 200m sprints for the second time in two weeks. He clocked a 10.20 on a test run at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland, on Tuesday. It was the third time that he has broken his own national record this year.
In two runs on July 8, Josiah clocked 10.35 and 10.31 to better his previous record of 10.41, which he set in a qualifying run in the first leg of the Track World Cup in Moscow in February.
Josiah said that setting a new time so soon came as a pleasant surprise.
“My coach at the centre (Frederic (Magne) told me that he expected no slower than 10.2,” said Josiah via e-mail.
“I thought that he was out of his mind since I was not feeling my best. My lower back was still stiff after I had practised doing standing starts the previous day.
“Anyway, I was on my racing skin suit and managed to clocked exactly 10.20 (time is taken from two stopwatches, the slower of the two is recorded), breaking my personal best of 10.31 set earlier this month.
“My coach did not seem too excited about it ... he must have expected it from me.”
However, a delighted Josiah felt that he was getting nearer to his goal of booking a place in the Olympics.
Josiah will compete in the keirin event in the world meet. He will head to Germany this weekend to get ready for the event, which will take place on July 31.
Josiah, who is the Track World Cup number one keirin rider, is hoping to qualify for the top six final, which will give him an automatic spot in the Athens Olympics next year. The top six finishers in all events at the world meet qualify for the Olympics.
“I just have to stay focussed and do my job,” said Josiah, who was a silver medallist in the 200m sprints in the Busan Asian Games last year. The medal was Malaysia's first in Asiad cycling in 32 years.
The last Malaysian cyclist to qualify for the Olympics was M. Kumaresan in Barcelona in 1992.
After the World Track Championships, his next assignment is the Asian Championships in South Korea from Aug 9-13, which will also offer qualifying spots to the Olympics.