Dunford picks bronze at Arena Grand Prix meet in US

By evelyn watta
Apr 25, 2014

Kenya’s most decorated swimmer Jason Dunford picked up bronze in the 100m butterfly final on Thursday at the Arena Grand Prix at Mesa at Skyline Aquatic Center behind the celebrated American duo of Ryan Lochte who edged out Michael Phelps for the gold.

The Kenyan,a finalist at the 2012 games in London tapped the wall in 53.08 seconds behind Lochte, an 11-time Olympic medalist who took first place in 51.93 seconds.

American Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all-time with 22 career medals was competing for the first time since returning from retirement after he quit after winning the last of his six medals at the 2012 games 52.13.

Dunford who is based in the US is preparing for his Commonwealth games title defense(50m fly) in July in Scotland had qualified third behind the winner Phelps(52.84) and Lochte(52.94) in his qualifying heat which he timed 53.33 seconds.

The Arena Grand Prix at Mesa is the fourth stop of USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, which provides the swimmers with six opportunities to face top-flight competition on U.S. soil.

As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events.

In total, $150,000 in prize money is available to be distributed over the course of the six-meet series. At each meet, $500 will be awarded for a first-place finish, $300 for second and $100 for third in all individual events. Dunford will also compete in the 50m freestyle in Mesa on Friday.

He began his season with the Arena gala at Austin where he aslo ranked third in the 100m fly in 53.73 won by American Tom Shields (52.72).

Additional reporting by usaswimming.org