NAIROBI, Kenya, August 2- In the end, Kenya’s medals at London 2012 will come from a familiar source after swimmer Jason Dunford Olympics odyssey came to an end at the semis of the 100m butterfly on Thursday night.
Facing the most intense of competition from among others, record setting Olympian Michael Phelps and South African gold winner at London Chad Le Clos, Dunford finished last in his race in 52.16 where the latter won in 51.42.
There was no flirting with Olympics history for the elder of the Dunford brothers after his world record setting exploits in Beijing four years ago having just managed to eke into the last 16 of his speciality earlier in the day.
It capped a disappointing day in the pool for the athlete who held the nation’s flag aloft into the London Olympics Stadium during the opening ceremony last Friday.
Jason, 25, was ranked 12th out of the 16 semi-finalists in the competition in what can only be scant consolation for the swimmer who went to London with real prospects of charting untested waters for his nation having won Kenya’s first gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
The country will once again turn to their stellar collection of their distance runners to carry on their London 2012 charge with action in track and field at the Olympics set to start on Friday afternoon local time.
Earlier in the day, the Dunford brothers enjoyed divergent destinies at the ExCel Aquatics Centre in London with Jason qualifying for the semi finals as the younger David bade the Olympics goodbye.
Jason qualified for the 100m butterfly semis after swimming 52.23 in his heat while David, who crashed out of the 100m freestyle competition on Tuesday 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.
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 but paled in the final metres. He was not in contention at any stage during the semis.
In Beijing he became the first swimmer from the country to participate in an Olympics final having made history after he holding the world record for seven minutes before it was broken by Phelps.
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.