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Two golds and a national record

Harry Kent won his class for the bench press at the NZ Powerlifting Championships. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED


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Masterton’s Harry Kent bench pressed his way to glory and came home with two gold medals from the national powerlifting championships two weeks ago at Alexandra Park, Auckland.

Kent represented Central Districts in the Masters [40-44 age group] and Open categories and won both divisions. He set a national record of 153kg in the bench press for the Masters’ division.

It was Kent’s third year of competition, and his third title in the Masters, and his first in the open division, after third and second placings at the previous two championships.

The 44-year-old said the gold medals were the culmination of a lot of hard work.

“I train four days a week and three to four hours a day, and obviously that means time away from family and time away from other things you would like to do,” he said.

“I was very fortunate to have the support of my wife, Tracy, and my kids there on the day.

“Also, they come to the gym with me and help me out with my load outs and with my preparation at the events.

“There’s one person lifting on the day, but behind them, there’s a lot of support and quite a big team involved.”

Training is even more demanding given that Kent spends the working week in Lower Hutt as a management consultant for Regional Public Health working on covid-19.

He credited his trainer Tasha Williams from the Strength Factory gym in Wellington and Bevan MacKenzie from Masterton’s Wai Weight gym for getting him up to speed for the championships.

“Bev’s gym, his equipment and the attitude and culture in the gym really is just fantastic.

“I have never come across anything better, and I’ve been involved and trained in elite sport for a very long time.”

Kent does have a strong sporting pedigree.

He represented Wellington at age group rugby and was also an elite cyclist, following in his father Harry’s footsteps.

In 1970 Harry Snr won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in the 1km time trial at the Edinburgh games and was the first Kiwi to place at a world championships, winning a silver medal in the time trial. He was also named 1970 NZ Sportsman of the Year.

Next in line for Kent junior is the Oceania Championships in Auckland.

“It was supposed to be the world championships at the end of January but now with covid-19 that’s been called the Oceania Championships and I will be looking to have an attempt on the world record for my age group,” he said.

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