Jason set to lead Kenya’s splash at Africa champs

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NAIROBI, Kenya, September 7- Olympic swimmer Jason Dunford has shifted his training base to the coastal city of Mombasa as the country prepares to host the 11th edition of the Africa Championships from Monday.

The swimmer will be defending his 50m and 100m butterfly titles as well as bettering his performance in the corresponding freestyle events where he won silver during the last edition held in Morocco.

“He has moved to the coast since it’s much warmer especially since the pool at Kasarani is not heated up yet which is not conducive for intensive training,” his father Martin Dunford told Capital Sport.

Jason who was eliminated in the semis of the 100m Butterfly after a last place finish in the event will be keen on victory at home in readiness for the World Cup which opens in Dubai in October.

“He will use the event as preparations for the World Cup which is a eight stage series beginning in Dubai through Europe over the next six weeks before the final meet in Singapore in November,” the elder Dunford explained.

The week-long event has attracted 15 countries with Kenya Swimming Federation (KSF) confident of hosting a successful event despite the delay in the completion of the pool at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“We are ready to see the finest swimmers from the continent compete in these championships and hope that we will register good results as the hosts particularly now that we have an Olympian in our team.

“Jason will definitely be a star attraction as he looks to bounce back from the results in the recent Olympics and is our major hope to inspire the rest in the 23 strong squad,” expressed KSF relations officer Winnie Kamau as she rued the absence of the younger David who took a break after the London event.

The pool at Kasarani has been undergoing renovations for the last two years which are in the final stages according to the Sports Stadia Management Board (SSMB) relations officer Rakii Asman.

“I can assure the pool will be all set for the event before it kicks off, we are just finalizing on a few technical aspects.

“In fact there were some local swimmers who had some practice sessions at the pool on Thursday so the facility is good enough to host the event,” asserted Asman when reached for comment about the fears allayed about the lack of the heated provision at the pool.

As the hosts seek to stamp its authority at home they expect to face stiff completion from Egypt and South Africa. Other countries to participate include Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo Brazzaville, Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, Nigeria, DRC, Seychelles, Botswana and Ethiopia.

Kenya finished fourth in 2010 with 6 medals (3 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze) behind South Africa who won the overall title in 2010 amassing a total of 59 medals (27 Gold, 16 Silver, 16 Bronze) followed by Tunisia and Algeria.

Kenyan squad

Men: Jason Dunford, David Buruchara, Hamdan Bayusuf, Ramadhan Vyombo, Tory Pragassa, Micah Fernandes, Hassan Ahmed, Kimani Maina, Abdalla Issa, Kadernani Abdulmajid, Kiptolo Boit, Edward Ilako.

Women: Sylvia Brunlehner, Talisa Lanoe, Martha Opiyo, Sehar Saleh, Ayushi Chandaria, Anita Field, Daniella Awori, Ger Ogot, Emily Muteti, Akinyi Ogot.

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