Capital FM (Nairobi)

2 August 2012

Kenya: Jason Makes It to Semis 100 Metres Butterfly

Photo: Facebook
Kenyan swimmer Jason Dunford.

Nairobi — Kenyan swimming sensation Jason Dunford qualified for the 100m butterfly semi final after posting a qualifying time of 52.23 in his heats held Thursday.

Despite finishing fourth in heat five, the Commonwealth champion made the cut for the semis of the competition to be staged later on Thursday evening at 10.50 pm owing to his overall 15th position finish.

The heat at the ExCel aquatic centre was won by South Africa's Chad Clos in 51.54 followed by Konrad Czerniak of Poland who returned 51.85 while German Stefan Deibler was third in 51.92.

Jason, certainly the most successful swimmer in the country with 21 medals led through the first 50m in lane five but had to contend with the tough challenge from the top three competitors in the fast heat who powered past him in the final 50 metres.

He has been touted as a medal prospect for Kenya since he made history in the Beijing edition in 2008 when he became the first swimmer from the country to participate in an Olympics final.

He was in the record books once more after he held the world record for seven minutes before it was broken by eventual winner Michael Phelps of the USA while he ended up in fifth.

A similar encounter that could ignite memories of Beijing is expected this year after Phelps qualified for the semi finishing first in heat six in 51.72.

However, it was mixed fortunes for Jason's sibling, David was was knocked out of the games after he failed to qualify for 50m freestyle competition in his second event at the games on Thursday.

He finished third in the relatively fast heat five in 22.72 trailing the winner Hasper Aerents of Germany in 22.43 who was followed in second by Shi Yang of China in 22.64 at the ExCel Aquatic Centre.

The defeat was the second for the African title holder at the games after he failed to qualify in the 100m freestyle on Tuesday where he emerged in a similar position behind Romania's Norbert Trandafir and Martin Verner of Czech Republic.

In the event viewed as his specialty and with the best qualification time of 22.34 among the heat participants, he looked promising from the start and was amongst the swimmers in the leading pack but he slowed down towards the end for 27th spot.

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