Nine kilograms.

That’s how much more Australian super heavyweight Damon Kelly has to lift sometime in the next couple of months to reach the qualifying weight for the Rio Olympics.

Before the weekend he was 13 kilograms adrift. But as he has done at each of his last three competitions, Kelly set a new personal best total for 2015 on Sunday.

And every time he does it, the dream of a third Olympic Games becomes more real.

He wasn’t expecting to lift well at the Australian Club Championships in Brisbane, given he’d just returned from a tough competition in India.

But his final total of 370kg was a 4kg improvement on his silver-medal winning performance at the Commonwealth Championships earlier this month.

“This week I was straight back to work, packing up trucks, setting up platforms, all that kind of stuff,” he said.

“It hasn’t been the ideal preparation, I was only able to fit in a couple of sessions.

“So I’m happy to pull out those sorts of weights today.”

Kelly is pretty relaxed about lifting an extra nine kilograms. He knows where and how, and is confident it will happen soon.

“I was confident in the snatch today, but not so much in the clean and jerk,” he said.

“I just don’t have the confidence there to push the big weights, but after 206kg in India and 207 here today, the strength is coming back.

“I’m now 9kgs off the qualifying total, so I hope to hit that at the Australian Open in December. I’m just trying to get that increase in every competition, and get back to my best weights, hopefully by May next year.”

After harbouring doubts about pushing on for a third Olympics, Kelly is now convinced he has made the right decision.

He lifted 386kg in Beijing in 2008, and 381kg in London after a disrupted preparation.

Since London he has changed jobs, and, more importantly, become a father – twice!

“It’s been very good this year,” he said. 

“Last year was really hard trying to get into the swing of things, with everything that was going on outside of lifting.

“But I’ve been able to get a bit more consistent training this year. It’s starting to come together. It’s getting even closer now, with only a couple of comps left in terms of qualifying, it’s really going to put the pressure on.”

The club championships also saw strong performances from two of Australia’s World Championships team.

Erika Ropati-Frost was unable to repeat her record-breaking performance from earlier this year, but was still satisfied with her 185kg total.

And Camilla Fogagnola showed she is in career best form, setting new personal bests in snatch, clean and jerk, and overall total.

“I wasn’t expecting big lifts today,” Fogagnola said.

“If I hadn’t been improving by the end of this year, I was going to retire.

“But I’ve been competing really well lately, I’m happy with the way I’ve been going. I’ve been a lot more consistent.”

The World Championships will be held in Houston next month.