Cycling: Josiah confident of Beijing outing

NST Online > 21/12/2007

By : Arnaz M. Khairul

A MERE second away from equalling the current best times in the world and the team sprint squad on the brink of Olympic qualification, Josiah Ng confidently sees at least four cyclists carrying the nation’s flag in Beijing.

The current world rankings show a strong possibility of all five riders in Australian coach John Beasley’s sprinters stable making the World Championships in Manchester, England on March 26-30.

Extra tickets to August’s Olympics in Beijing will be gained from the World Championships, if not direct entry via the UCI World Cup, which has just two more rounds remaining in Los Angeles on Jan 18-20 and Ballerup, Denmark on Feb 15-17.

Having set a super-fast national record of 45.511 seconds in Round Two of the UCI World Cup in Beijing on Dec 7, the team sprint squad with new starter Edrus Yunus, Josiah and Rizal Tisin, marked their improvement by closing the gap to the top nations.

The combination of Edrus, Junaidi Nasir and Azizul Hasni Awang took the gold medal in the Sea Games last week, and a combination without Josiah is likely to be tested again in the Los Angeles leg of the World Cup.

“It looks good, but I’m going to refrain from saying that we’ve confirmed our place in the Olympics. We need one more good result from either the World Cup or World Championships to nick it,” said Josiah.

“The top teams are clocking 44-second times in the team sprint and we’re a second off that. I’d say if we get to the Olympics, by that time we should be clocking under 45 seconds.”

Josiah is 11th in the keirin world rankings, while Asian champion Azizul is now 16th, but with each country limited to just two spots in the Olympics for that event, both could be off to Beijing for the keirin.

~ by missjewelz on December 21, 2007.

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