NAIROBI, Kenya, August 2- The Dunford swimming brothers enjoyed contrasting fortunes at the ExCel Aquatics Centre in London on Thursday with elder Jason qualifying for the semi finals as the younger David bade the Olympics goodbye.
Jason qualified for the 100m butterfly semis set for Thursday night after swimming 52.23 in his heat while David, who crashed out of the 100m freestyle competition also ending his run in the shorter 50m sprint when he clocked 22.72 in his qualifier.
Despite finishing fourth in heat five, Commonwealth champion Jason made the cut for the semis owing to his overall 15th position finish out of the permitted 16 qualifiers.
South Africa’s Chad Clos who bagged gold in the 100m freestyle won the heat 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 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.
David saw his Olympics dream crash after he failed to qualify for 50m freestyle competition in his second event attempt at the games on Thursday.
He finished third in the relatively fast heat five trailing the winner Hasper Aerents of Germany in 22.43 who was followed by Shi Yang of China in 22.64.
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.