Josiah skips meet in Moscow to help fellow cyclists settle in

  • Other Sport
  • Thursday, 28 Oct 2004

PETALING JAYA: A big-hearted Josiah Ng has made a decision to skip the opening round of the Track Cycling World Cup in Moscow next weekend. 

He is not out because of injury.  

The decision is prompted by the impending arrival in the United States of two fellow Malaysian cyclists, Rizal Tisin and Mohd Sayuti Zahit. 

Rizal and Sayuti are set to join Josiah in training under American coach Mark Whitehead in Long Beach, California, from Nov 1. It is a stint for the duo under the National Sport Council's (NSC) world-class cycling project. 

JOSIAH: I'm staying back to make sure they feel welcomed.

Josiah said in a telephone interview from Long Beach yesterday that he preferred to help the duo settle down in the new environment. 

“It's not that I am not confident of myself after the Athens Olympics,” he said. 

“I will be welcoming two of my new teammates, who will be leaving the Malaysian shores for the first time. They will be far away from their families and they may find some difficulties in adjusting to life here. I have experienced this before. 

“I am staying back to make sure they will feel welcomed. I have been quite busy over the past few weeks after I was told that they would be coming here. 

“Besides training, I have done travel arrangements for them and got the rooms furnished and ready for them. Everything should be in order when they arrive here on Nov 1.” 

Rizal and Mohd Sayuti will stay with Josiah in an apartment and the monthly rent will be borne by the NSC. 

“They should feel comfortable here. I will fix the Internet and they can e-mail their families. I will also fix cable television, which has 200 channels,” said Josiah. 

“I have to help make sure that they don't get bored here. I hope that they can make their training base here for four years until the next Olympics. All they have to do is to stay focussed and train hard with me.” 

His concern for the duo is understandable. 

In May, Rizal and two other cyclists, Fairuz Izani and Faizal Noh, were down for a six-month stint under Whitehead. But they were unable to adjust to the environment and returned after just one month. Then, Josiah was based at the World Cycling Centre in Switzerland. 

Josiah's kind gesture to skip the first leg of the World Cup means he misses an early chance to gain early qualification for the World Track Championships, which will be held in Los Angeles in March next year. 

But Josiah is confident that he will still be able to make the cut. He has to finish among the top six in any of the three remaining legs of the World Cup after this to earn automatic qualification. 

The legs after Moscow are in Los Angeles (Dec 10-12), Manchester (Jan 7-9) and Sydney (Feb 18-20). 

“I will take part with Rizal and Sayuti in the next three legs. I have never failed to qualify for the World Championships in four years. I am definitely confident of making it again,” said Josiah, who had made Malaysia proud by reaching the final of the keirin event in the Athens Olympics. 

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