JOSIAH’S OLYMPIC MOMENT

An epic capture by Khalid Redza at the Olympic Games in 2004. This turned out to be the defining moment of Josiah Ng’s cycling career. In the keirin final, the then 26-year old entered the Olympics among the top 3 in the discipline. He soon found himself pushed to the rear of the six-man final as Australia’s Ryan Bayley stormed to victory ahead of Spain’s Jose Antonio Escuredo. Josiah initially caught hot favourite Bayley’s wheel as the sprint gold medallist hit the gas on the final lap, but lost touch and was soon battling for scraps with Germany’s Rene Wolff. Khalid, positioned at the stands caught just this moment on the final bend as Josiah battled Australia’s Shane Kelly and France’s Mickael Bourgain, who was at that time the world record holder in the 200m flying lap. Josiah’s brush with Bourgain which sees the Frenchman hit the deck here, saw him relegated to sixth, after initially crossing the line in fourth. Josiah was seen as the brightest spark from a sport then regarded as non-traditional, as Malaysia’s return from the birthplace of the Olympic movement far from fetching a single medal saw New Straits Times then sports editor Datuk Lazarus Rokk pen the stinging and memorable piece “Our Big Fat Greek Tragedy”. Josiah would thus be named Olympian of the Year, and although his career extended to another 12 years, Athens 2004 remained his best Olympic moment. – Pic: Khalid Redza

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