Caryl Kennett is a proud mum as her son, Dylan, prepares for his first appearance at the Olympic Games.
Dylan Kennett (21), who grew up in Waimate and was schooled at Waitaki Boys’ High School, is in the New Zealand cycling team for Rio.
He will compete in the team pursuit and the omnium, which comprises a scratch race, individual pursuit, elimination race, time trial, flying lap and points race.
He secured his place thanks, in part, to a solid omnium performance at an event in Poland.
Mrs Kennett, who will travel from Waimate to Rio on August 9 with husband Craig, said she was delighted Dylan was selected and expected nothing less.
“We were really rapt. It’s pretty hard work for him and it’s paid off.
“When we saw how well he went in Poland, he was on fire, and it would have been a surprise if he didn’t get picked.”
She is in constant contact with her son and said his training was going well, and that he was itching to get to Rio for what she said might be a “once-in-a-lifetime experience”.
While confident he had the ability to claim a medal in either of his two events, Mrs Kennett said the omnium had her slightly worried, particularly at what she described as “bunch racing”.
“They’ll be going for gold, obviously. He’s very competitive and very focused – he’s very good at omnium and he’ll be having a good crack at it, for sure.
“The elimination race can be a bit of luck. There are usually some crashes … but I think he’ll be a medal chance, and I’m sure the team pursuit will medal. It’s going to be a fabulous experience for all of our athletes.”
Kennett was in the men’s sprint team that won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.