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The Whanganui-born sprinter, who was national 100 yards champion in 1923, won a bronze medal over the same distance at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924.
While at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, he was also chosen for the Amsterdam Olympics as a sprinter but injury kept him out of action and he was named New Zealand team captain. He was also educated at Wanganui Collegiate School.
Porritt, also a talented rugby player who played for Dunedin University, managed the New Zealand team at the 1934 London Empire Games and also at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he persuaded the great Jack Lovelock to switch from 5000m to 1500m which he duly won.
The first Baron of Wanganui and Hampstead served as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation and as a member of the International Olympic Committee.
A surgeon, health administrator and writer, Porritt later became the first New Zealander to become Governor-General of this country.