In a separate showdown at the Vodafone Arena on Wednesday, only officials, family and friends were allowed into the velodrome to watch the head-to-head match between sprinters Shane Kelly and Ben Kersten for the final remaining slot on the men's Beijing sprint squad. Kelly took a convincing victory in the 625 metre time trial, smashing Kersten's 39.934 with a 39.198 second time.
The ride-off was designed to select the final, third-lap spot on the men's team sprint, but Kelly may also ride the keirin at the Games. Kelly, who took silver in 1992 and bronze in 2000 in the kilometre time trial, and bronze in 2004 in the keirin, is hoping to he has regained his medal-winning form. "I did say 12 months ago when I set myself to make a bit of a comeback … I'm certainly not going for the tracksuit and everything else that goes with it. It's (for a) gold medal, and that's eluded me so far, so I'm 100% pumped and ready for it," he said.
The event marked the third time Kersten has missed out on selection for the Games, and his disappointment was palpable, however, he graciously congratulated Kelly. "He just said, 'All the best, the better guy won on the day'," Kelly told The Age afterwards. "It's a big relief. I'm glad it's done."
If the Australian Olympic Committee approves the selection, Kelly will join Anna Meares, Mark French, Ryan Bayley and Daniel Ellis on the sprint team in Beijing.