Jason Dunford was able to achieve one of his goals four years ago.
He turned heads at his debut Olympics in Beijing when he qualified for the 100-meter butterfly semifinals in an Olympic record of 51.14 seconds.
Two years later he proved the naysayers wrong who thought his water cube magic was luck, as he won the Gold at the 2010 commonwealth games. His gold in the 50-meters butterfly was the country’s first medal at the Club games.
Two years down the line,he struggled at the London Olympics.
Disappointed, the 27 year-old took a self-imposed championship hiatus to improve on his fading speed.
“I was a little bit burnt out after London, but I have regained my confidence and desire to compete,” Dunford told www.sportsnewsarena.com from his training base in San Francisco as he prepared to fly out to Glasgow to join the rest of team Kenya.
“The break gave me a fresh perspective on my swimming and I think I have a far more balanced and mature approach to the sport. I was also able to give my shoulders and lower back a rest. They were a constant source of pain but now I feel much healthier.”
The long layoff after his multiple medal haul at the African championships at Kasarani in 2012 and the world short course championships at the end of that year in Tukey did him some good.
He plunged back into competition picking two bronze medals at the American Arena grand prix series in his buildup swims earlier in the year.
Onform Dunford basking in newly wedded bliss
The country’s top ranked swimmer even managed to squeeze in a wedding a month ago to his longtime fiancé Lauren Finzer in the US. He seems to be in the right shape and frame of mind to succeed at the Tollcross international Swimming Centre in Scotland.
“We got married on June 28th and I am feeling on top of the world,” Dunford said excitedly after a concise honeymoon that will probably resume after his yearned title defense.
“I have gained a lot of strength this season and have been constantly hitting personal bests in the weight room.
This extra strength is going to help me have easier speed in the front half of my races to allow me to finish better,” he continued of his preparations to prove his championship status, one capable of defending a title after securing it.
A major championship material he is. He has lined up to compete in the 50m and 100m Butterfly as well as the 100m freestyle.The American based swimmer is more than ready to show the world he has improved.
“I feel my stroke coming together nicely as my flexibility returns.I am hitting the times I want to be hitting in training and now it’s really about fine tuning, resting up and getting my mind ready for the competition.”
He hopes his success can inspire the new generation of swimmers.
“I hope to swim my best times in Glasgow and my sense is that this should put me among the medals. I hope to continue to do Kenya proud and inspire the younger swimmers on the team.”
Kenya will be represented by a team of 13 swimmers at the Commonwealth games that opens next Wednesday July 23.