Josiah Ng celebrates after the keirin final at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome yesterday. Josiah, who finished second, was handed the gold medal after Azizul Hasni Awang was disqualified for dangerous sprinting.
JOSIAH Ng found it hard to stop himself from beaming despite the pain he felt at Azizul Hasni Awang's disqualification in the keirin final at the Indira Gandhi Velodrome yesterday. Azizul's misfortune was Josiah's gain as he was elevated to first and as bad as he felt for his teammate who he described as his "kid brother", the gold medal took a huge load off Josiah's shoulder.
"I feel bad for Azizul for he deserved the gold. I would rather win the silver in this situation for Azizul didn't do anything wrong. What he did was race aggressively which is, in my opinion, not wrong," said Josiah, 30.
But as unlucky as Azizul was, victory was a redemption of sorts for Josiah, who has had to face criticism in recent times as his performance dipped.
"I have let the country down many times and this has led to criticism -- some constructive and some not -- and I am the first to admit that I desperately wanted to prove a point in New Delhi," said Josiah,
That he did, even without the "help" he eventually got from Azizul for Josiah rode a great race and did extremely well to cross the finish line in second place when he had looked at one stage to be out of the running for a medal.
He came home from the outside and was quick to congratulate Azizul as the two rode a lap-of-honour around the velodrome, only to be told minutes later that he was the gold medallist and not his teammate.
England's David Daniel was elevated to second while New Zealander Simon Van Velthooven received the bronze.
"I feel bad for Azizul but for me, the gold comes at a time when I badly needed it. There was a lot of pressure as there are a lot of people who doubted me.
"It has been a difficult couple of years as I was always in the limelight and along came Azizul. It was tough for me, especially as Azizul and Rizal (Tisin) were winning medals at the World Championships, World Cup and Asian level.
"I haven't won at the World Championships and I had to do a lot of soul searching to find the old Josiah again. This gold medal wouldn't have been possible without Azizul for he provided me with the push I needed to find myself again.
"In fact, the entire team helped me and working with (national coach) John (Beasley) has been wonderful. The gold has convinced me of what I always believed -- that I am a late bloomer -- and I am going to be around for some time yet.