London was unmistakably their best chance at Olympic honours after a rather fantastic past season backed by an equally high level and intense swimming build-up.
The Dunford brothers had it all calculated; make the finals and challenge for the medals. But it all fell flat in their faces.
David Dunford’s first swim at the Aquatic centre was a disappointing third place finish in the 100m freestyle in 49.60 that he followed up with a 22.72 in the 50m.
That put to rest his dream final and even more shocking an announcement that London may not mark the end of his season but his career as well.
“I was totally disappointed. I know we are at the Olympics and anything is possible so it’s not all bad,” David told Sportsnewsarena.com.
“For now I am taking an indefinite break. I Planned to retire after the Olympics but I was hoping after achieving some good results,” he added evident that his performances in London largely influenced his decision which will mean that he will not even compete for Kenya at the forthcoming African championships.
“Swimming is a brutal sport and you get no result. It is a shame.”
Losing a swimmer of David’s calibre who is only 24 would be a big blow for Kenya swimming team, which has largely been moulded around the two siblings.
The two swimmers success has largely been attributed to their familys' support who have been instrumental in facilitating their training and entries into non-championship competitions.
“I was leaving it open ended if I had done better here maybe I would have considered my decision. We have put in a lot of hours training, the support around us has been overwhelming.”
Could be with a little more encouragement and Government investment in the sport, which he has loved and represented Kenya since 2005 may have seen him reverse his decision.
“For now I will just embark on a normal job, because after the disappointment the last thing I want to see right now is a pool,” added David a gold and silver medallist from the All African games last year.
“But ultimately the psychological boost helps. Look at our athletes they come here as a group like the American swimming team. It has certainly been difficult for us as two people competing against teams.”
Jason is equally devastated at missing out on a final of the 100m Butterfly an event he had been touted as one of the medal favourite.
Jason’s potential was never in doubt despite his fourth place qualification from heat five in 52.23 seconds, 0.69 behind winner Le Close Chad of South Africa. The ‘pressure’ got the best of him in the semi-finals .
He looked to have his final berth secured at the 50m mark where he was lying third in 28.34 but lost time at the turn and faded to a disappointing eighth in 52.15, as Le Clos sailed top from the semi-final in 51.42.
“It was a disappointing night for me. I was so disillusioned I had a lot of pressure this time round and I let it get to me,” he conceded, clearly still trying to come to terms with his sloppy performance in London.
“Five days in to the swimming competition the pressure was just too much I could not even sleep. It is no excuse because I am an experienced athlete but it all went wrong at the big moment.”
The pain of missing the final and a historic swimming medal for Kenya in an event he has largely dominated and came so close to winning a medal at the world championships in Shanghai last year, finishing fourth was evident.
“But we didn’t perform anywhere near our best. We tried to cut out the normality of our lives tried and focus that may have been our downfall. We should have approached it as any other championship,” he said as he looks to resuming his training in the US before the African championships later in September.
He has devised a better plan, approach for the championships where he will be defending the 50 and 100m fly titles he won in Casablanca in 2010.
“I have to learn how to deal with the pressure and manage expectations. We tried to cut out the normality of our lives and focussed so much on the Olympics instead of approaching it as any other championships.”
Evelyn Watta in London
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