Harry Kent
Personal information
Birth nameHarry Dale Kent
Born(1947-03-11)11 March 1947
Upper Hutt, New Zealand
Died24 August 2021(2021-08-24) (aged 74)
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)[1]
Sport
CountryNew Zealand
SportCycling
Medal record
Men's cycling
Representing  New Zealand
British Commonwealth Games
Gold medal – first place 1970 Edinburgh 1 km time trial

Harry Dale Kent (11 March 1947 – 24 August 2021) was a New Zealand track cyclist. He was the first New Zealander to win a gold medal in cycling at the Commonwealth Games, as well as the first cyclist from the country to medal at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Early life

Kent was born in Upper Hutt in the Wellington Region on 11 March 1947.[1][2] He was of Waitaha descent, and his family lived in Upper Hutt from the time his grandfather settled there. His father, Huia Jim Kent, fought during World War II.[3]

Career

At the 1970 British Commonwealth Games, Kent won the gold medal in the men's 1 km time trial,[4] with his time of 1:08.69 establishing a new Commonwealth Games record.[5][6] It was his country's first gold medal in cycling at the Commonwealth Games,[6][7] and was one of two golds that New Zealand won at that year's Games (the other was by Bruce Biddle in the road race).[6][8] He finished in fourth place in the sprint and sixth in the 10 mile scratch race.[4] Although Kent won Match A in the semifinals of the former event, he lost the next two matches against Gordon Johnson, who at one point forced Kent up against the guard rails.[9][10]

Several weeks later, Kent competed at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Leicester. He secured silver in the men's 1 km time trial,[8] narrowly missing out on gold to Niels Fredborg by 0.4 seconds.[11] This was New Zealand's first medal at the world track championships.[12][13] In recognition of his achievements that year, Kent was named New Zealand Sportsman of the Year,[8] and was conferred the Lonsdale Cup.[14]

Kent competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics in the men's 1 km time trial but did not start in the men's sprint.[4] He finished 16th in the former event with a time of 1:09.10.[1]

Later life

After retiring from professional cycling, Kent returned to his hometown and managed his family's garden nursery.[15] He ran a fruit and vegetable market,[16] named Trentham Village Market,[3] and acquired the nickname of the "Flying Florist".[15] Kent was elected to the city council and served for nine years during the 1970s and 1980s.[16] He was one of the two guests of honour when the Wellington Velodrome was reopened in December 2003, together with Sarah Ulmer.[17]

Kent ran again as city councillor in 2016, after engaging in a protracted legal dispute with the council over the commercial assessment of his business.[16] He ultimately finished last among twenty candidates who were vying for ten seats.[18] He was honoured by Cycling New Zealand that same year on its Wall of Fame at the Cambridge Avantidrome.[8]

Personal life

Kent had four children: Heidi,[8] Harry James Dale,[3] and two other daughters.[2] Harry James helped his father manage Trentham Village Market.[3] Kent spent his entire life in suburb of Trentham in Upper Hutt.[8][16]

Kent died on 24 August 2021. He was 74, and was in poor health as a result of two strokes he suffered in the years leading up to his death.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Harry Kent Bio, Stats, and Results". Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Harry Kent death notice". The Dominion Post. Wellington. 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d Kopp, Michael (18 November 2010). "The Harrys plan a community garden". Stuff. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Harry Kent". Auckland: New Zealand Olympic Committee. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  5. ^ Todd, Sydney P. (1976). Sporting Records of New Zealand. Moa Publications. p. 277. ISBN 9780908570003.
  6. ^ a b c New Zealand News. Vol. 25. Washington, D.C.: Embassy of New Zealand. 1970. p. 5.
  7. ^ Kennett, Simon (5 September 2013). "Cycle racing – Road and track: from the mid-20th century (Harry Kent)". Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Boyack, Nicholas (28 August 2021). "Harry Kent, pioneering track cyclist, dies aged 74". Stuff. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  9. ^ Hanson, Ian (24 July 2020). "John Trevorrow's life in the saddle kickstarted in Edinburgh". Commonwealth Games Australia. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  10. ^ Annable, Brian (14 July 2010). "Feature: Meadowbank History Lesson". British Cycling. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  11. ^ Wadley, J. B. (1975). Cycling. Crowell. p. 85. ISBN 9780690007794.
  12. ^ "Track Cycling World Champs – Day 2 Wrap". Auckland: New Zealand Olympic Committee. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Cycling: Ellis grabs silver in Denmark". Otago Daily Times. Dunedin. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 28 August 2021. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  14. ^ "NZOC Awards". Auckland: New Zealand Olympic Committee. 9 February 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  15. ^ a b Kennett, Jonathan (2004). Ride: The Story of Cycling in New Zealand. Kennett Brothers. p. 104. ISBN 9780958349079.
  16. ^ a b c d "Harry Kent". Upper Hutt Leader. 21 September 2016. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2021.
  17. ^ Smith, Kevin (10 December 2003). "Wellington Velodrome Grand Re-opening". Cycling New Zealand. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  18. ^ "2016 Triennial Elections – Declaration of Result" (PDF). Upper Hutt City Council. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
Awards Preceded byJeff Julian Lonsdale Cup of the New Zealand Olympic Committee 1970 Succeeded byLes Mills