The 2010 Commonwealth Games 50m butterfly champion said it has been a privilege to represent Kenya at the senior level for the last 10 years. “Today, I am formally announcing my retirement from competitive swimming,” said Dunford.
“I have devoted almost all my life to swimming and have achieved more than I could have dreamt, but I know the time is right for me to call time on my career and explore new opportunities in my life,” said Dunford.
Dunford had a disastrous outing at the Commonwealth Games last year in Glasgow, where he finished fifth in the men’s 100m freestyle and later admitted he may quit the sport after a below par performance and burnout.
He cited the water cube moment in Beijing when he broke the 100m butterfly Olympic record in the semi-finals in his debut at games as his biggest achievement.
“It has been an incredible journey and since I first represented the country at the World Championships (25m) in Indianapolis back in October 2004, I could never have anticipated what I would accomplish over the next 10 years,” said Dunford.
“I hope I have played a part in inspiring the next generation of Kenyan and African swimmers and look forward to offering my support and following to their successes in years to come,” he said.
The Kenyan top swimmer has had a stellar performance having won 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke events at the Africa Swimming championships in Dakar 2006. He later went on to win three silver medals (50m butterfly, 100m and 200m freestyle) and one bronze (50m freestyle) at the same venue.
At the 2007 All Africa Games in Algiers, Algeria, Jason Dunford won three gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m butterfly), two silver (50m freestyle, 100m backstroke) and three bronze (50m backstroke, 100m and 200m freestyle) to emerge the Sports Personality of the Year winner same year.
Dunford became the first Kenyan swimmer to qualify for the Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, setting a new national record in the 100m butterfly of 49.06 and reached the final of the event, where he finished fifth after clocking 51.47.
Dunford struck gold for Kenya at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, the first ever swimming gold won by the country in the 50m butterfly event.
Dunford’s rich vein of form continued in the same year, winning two gold medals in butterfly and two freestyle silver medal at the Africa Senior Championships in Morocco.
At the 2011 All Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique Dunford was in class of his own scooping two gold medals in butterfly and two silver medal in the 50m freestyle.
Courtesy of the-star.co.ke