• Jason Dunford's ‘timeless’ pursuit for Olympic honours

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May 08, 2012-

It was simply a grand moment for Kenyan sport! The setting was the Chinese capital and Jason Dunford had waded his way to an Olympic Butterfly record.

Never mind that he held the coveted ‘Olympic record holder’ title for only seven minutes.

For Kenyans there would be no limits to their hero’s fame after his 51.14 seconds swim erased American Michael Phelps’ mark of 51.25.

It was a feat that spellbound his compatriots who even dared to dream of a historic swimming Olympic medal, albeit his final placing was in itself a momentous deed.

They were unwavering in their support even when ‘their Olympic record holder’ touched the wall fifth in the 100m fly final at the Water Cube they applauded, as the magnitude of his unimaginable achievement dawned.

But once a baby lion tastes blood there is no going back for him to mother's milk! Since his ‘seven minutes of fame’,he has gone on the offensive.

Boosted his continental gold medals haul at the Africa and Pan-African events, splashed his way to Universiade honours, competed in multiple World championship finals and rounded it off with the Gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Confirming no diminution in his ambition for an Olympic medal.

“After my 4th place finish at last year's world championships, I will certainly be in the mix for a medal,” Jason, 26, told sportsnewsarena.com from his training base at the ADN swim project in Lignano, Sabbiadoro in Italy.

The Stanford graduate in Masters in Earth Systems joined the ADN Project run by Italian coach Andrea di Nino in 2010 and has had a chance to horn his skills alongside ‘top male fly swimmers in the world’ like Milorad Cavic the Serbian who erased his Olympic record on his way to winning the Gold in Beijing, Russian Evgeny Korotyshkin, the world short course record holder among others.

"We just got Jason back to the team, he seems to be in great shape and very confident about this summer,” said Coach Di Nino in an exclusive interview with sportsnewsarena.com.

“We really believe that with his talent and the A.D.N technical support he will be able to achieve a great result for Kenya in the Olympics.”

Jason’s recent Olympic warm up trail included a solid 52.26 seconds win in the 100m fly last weekend at the Orca Cup in Slovakia.

“I have a great three months of training ahead of me punctuated by some elite build-up competitions that will allow me to arrive in London in great shape,” he noted.

Jason and his brother David are the only two Kenyan swimmers qualified for London so far. “David will be in Italy in the beginning of June, after finishing his studies, and that will give him six weeks with us at ADN to prepare a solid swim in London,” said Di Nino.

Indeed there is no destruction of the ‘Olympic’ taste for Jason as he now shifts base to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain for altitude training all in the search for timeless fame...

 

Evelyn Watta

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