Defending champion Jason Dunford opted to take it easy, finishing second in his 50m butterfly heat and qualify for the semi-finals at the Tollcross Swimming Centre on Thursday.
The 27-year-old All Africa Games 50m and 100m butterfly champion tapped the wall in 23.76 seconds, behind winner Proud Benjamin from England in 23.17.
“It was a good swim just as I expected. I didn’t want to push it hard since I expect a lot in the semi-finals,” said Dunford, former Olympic 100m butterfly record holder (51.14). “I won in 2010 Delhi in 23.35 but I want to improve on that time since I have been posting faster times in training.”
Dunford, who was ranked fifth overall over the distances where Benjamin posted the best time, is due to swim at 10pm Thursday while the final is due Friday at 9pm.
He will later compete in 100m butterfly and freestyle. “I want to wrap up in style this being one of my final years in swimming before I retire,” said Dunford. Five of Dunford’s colleagues failed to sail through past their respective heats.
Issa Abdulah Mohammed finished 26th in overall classification in the 50m butterfly in 26.00 as Micah Fernandez settled 16th overall in men’s 200m heats in 2:24.15 to drown his dreams of a semi-final show.
Rebecca Wacui Kamau (33.83) and Martha Opiyo (36.81) might have won their respectively women’s 50m breaststroke heats but all was in vain as they finished 19th and 32nd respectively in the overall classification. Atkinson Alia from Jamaica tore the waters for the Commonwealth Game’s record time of 30.49 to lead 16 other semi-final qualifiers.
LACK OF EXPOSURE
Opiyo would finish fourth in women’s 100m butterfly in 1:10.21 in an event won by ErasitoTieri from Fiji in 1:08.08.
“It was a good experience this being my first time,” Opiyo said. “You only realise that there is much more to it than just swimming locally.”
Opiyo said they need more of international exposure to be able to measure up to such standards.
Hamdan Bayusuf finished last in his men’s 100m heat in 1:00.07 and failed to advance as Chris Walker-Hebborn from England won in the heat in a new record time of 53.30. Seven other Kenyans will be in the pool on Friday.
Fernandez will once again try his luck in men’s 100m breaststroke alongside Tory Pragasa at 1.14pm and 1.17pm respectively.
Anita Field will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle at 12.57pm and 100m backstroke. Also featured in the women’s 100m backstroke are Talisa Lanoe and Daniella Nafula Awori. The heats go down between 1.26pm and 1.33pm. “I know it’s a tough task but we are also capable of causing upsets,” said Lanoe.
Courtesy of nation.co.ke