Damon Kelly’s dream of competing for Australia at a third Olympics suffered a setback in Brisbane on Saturday night, but the weightlifter said he was still confident he would lift the weight needed to qualify for Rio.

Kelly had been hoping to go close to lifting the 385kg total he needs to put himself in the mix for Olympic selection at this weekend’s Australian International in Brisbane.

But Kelly made a disastrous start, missing his opening snatch of 160kg, and then narrowly avoiding serious injury when the bar fell on his neck.

He was successful with his second lift, but then missed 165kg with his final lift. This left him the mammoth task of lifting 225kg in the clean and jerk, three kilograms more than his previous best.

After successfully lifting 180kg at his first attempt he withdrew from the competition.

“It was pretty frustrating,” Kelly said.

“I had a really good training session last week, so I thought I was in a pretty good position to have a go. But it was just one of those days.”

Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Simplice Ribouem, is the only Australian male lifter to have recorded an Olympic qualifying lift so far.

Kelly will pin his hopes on lifting the required weight at the Oceania Olympic trials in Fiji in May.

“I felt pretty nervous this week,” he said.

“But my main focus has always been the Oceanias in Fiji, so that’s what I’m going to work on for the next ten weeks.

“The plan has always been to peak at Fiji, and that’s what I’m working towards.”

There was also frustration for 2012 London Olympian, Seen Lee, who was below her best in the women’s competition.

Australia’s two other main chances for Olympic qualification, Erika Ropati Frost and Tia-Clair Toomey, were both late withdrawls from this weekend’s Australian International event.

Both have already lifted Olympic qualifers, with Toomey currently just ahead of Ropati-Frost in the race for Rio.