Former track cycling world champion Jordan Kerby is switching his allegiances to New Zealand in an attempt to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
The 26-year-old won the individual pursuit world title in 2017 after moving from the road back to the track and was part of the gold medal winning Australian team pursuit squad at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast this year. However he was told that he was unlikely to be part of the top combination for Tokyo 2020.
Kerby, whose mother is a New Zealander with family in Wellington, reached out to Cycling New Zealand about the potential of changing citizenship to realise his Olympic dream.
“When I was told that I was not on their radar for Tokyo, I made the decision to talk to Cycling New Zealand and look to change allegiances,” said Kerby. “The Olympics is my dream.
“My mother is a proud Kiwi. I completely understand that I am coming here under my own steam and with no promises.
“I know the Kiwi guys and get on well with them. Cycling New Zealand’s high performance set-up is world class. The facilities in Cambridge are amazing and New Zealand is highly regarded around the world.
“I am here to give it my best shot and hopefully add something positive to the place and earn a chance to realise my Olympic dream.”
Cycling New Zealand said that while they have supported Kerby’s switch, which has also received the blessing of Cycling Australia and cycling’s ruling body the UCI, that he comes with no guarantees.
“Jordan is moving here of his own volition. We will incorporate him into our endurance group and evaluate his performances and how he fits into our group,” said Cycling New Zealand High Performance Director, Martin Barras.
Kerby was part of the Australian pursuit squad that went 3m52s on two occasions while the best for New Zealand is 3:53. He also clocked 4:12 as an individual pursuiter to win the world title which is one of the five fastest times in history.
“Australia has massive depth in pursuiting and while we are pleased with the development of our young riders, and we have the potential of some others returning from the road, the reality is that we want the fastest possible team on the track in Tokyo.
“If Jordan can do his talking on the track and can fit in with our team culture, then he will be a significant asset to the programme,” said Barras.