Josiah plans to get the job done with an Olympic medal
By LIM TEIK HUAT
Wedding bells will be ringing soon for Josiah, whose public relations manager Kim Ong has accepted his proposal for marriage while they were on vacation in London after the World Track Championships in Manchester on April 1.
The wedding is likely to be held on June 27 next year. In the meantime, the 27-year-old will not lose sight of his goals in the Olympics.
Josiah became the pride of the nation at the last Games in Athens when he bounced back from adversity to finish among the world’s best riders in the keirin event.
On the eve of the competition, coach Mark Whitehead abandoned Josiah after he finished 11th in the sprints because of a clash of egos with a former coach, Frederic Magne. But Josiah showed great mental composure to qualify for the final and eventually finished fifth in a closely contested race.
In Beijing, Josiah will get the chance to finish off what he narrowly missed out on and he will not be alone this time.
While Josiah qualified automatically by virtue of his ranking among the top 11 in the world, Malaysia also secured an extra berth in keirin. And youngster Azizul Hasni Awang, a two-time Asian champion in the discipline, will get to throw in his challenge.
After winning a total of eight World Cup and two Asian Games medals, winning an Olympic medal will be the highest point in Josiah’s glittering career.
“I’m not giving up on my dream as anything can happen in the Olympics. Anyone who makes the final has a shot at getting one and that is the purpose of me training hard each day,” said Josiah via e-mail from his training base in Valencia.
“That would be great if I achieve this as I will be settling down soon but there is also something I hope to achieve.
“One of my biggest dreams is to carry the flag for my country in the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I hope I will get the chance to do it in Beijing. I hear that the honour is always given to the country’s best performer of the last Olympics.”
Josiah was the flag-bearer for the Malaysian contingent at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
Malaysia have also made the cut for the team sprint and Josiah, Azizul and the other two track cyclists, Rizal Tisin and Mohd Edrus Yunus, are in Valencia for their last lap of Olympic preparations.
“We have settled down and training is going on well here. We will probably leave directly from here to Beijing,” he said.