Golden Dunford hints at 2016 retirement

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NAIROBI, Kenya, September 12- Jason Dunford has hinted at retirement after the 2016 OLympics in Rio stating Sunday’s 50m freestyle competition will be the last time he competes on home soil.

The Commonwealth champion and Olympics finalist revealed this after winning his second gold in his 50m butterfly speciality and settled for silver in the 100m freestyle on Wednesday at the ongoing Africa Swimming Championships.

Dunford now on five medals defended his 50m continental title by clocking 24.05 to beat Ousmanne Sahnoune of Algeria to second in 25.49 as Angolan Joao Matias sealed the last podium place in 25.59.

After the resounding victory he called on Kenyans to attend his final 50m freestyle event on Sunday as he brings the curtains down to his challenge at the Aquatic Centre at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

“This will be the final chance for Kenyans to come see me swim here in my career so you need to get the word out.

“If I’m going to swim in another Olympics, I don’t think there will be another Africa Championships hosted here in the next four years and don’t see myself going past 2016,” expressed Dunford after the victory.

In the 100m freestyle Dunford was edged out by South Africa’s Myles Brown who breezed past him to clinch gold in 51.06 while he settled for silver in 51.20 while Senegalese Abdoul Niane was third in 51.51.

“I didn’t see him coming, I should have won it, he fought hard but it’s hard to spot someone in this pool since it’s a bit murky.

“I wanted to get it done in my premier event where I won the Commonwealth gold and I’m happy to do that,” he added on his mixed results of the day.

Dunford had led through the first 50m in his first event final of the afternoon but he slowed down in the final metres on the return lap where the South African rushed to touch the wall first and register a quicker time. He had qualified sixth in the heats in 53.23 a place behind Brown who booked his place in 52.53.

He redeemed himself showing his Olympics prowess in the equally quick 50m butterfly leading from the buzzer to the finish in Lane 4 to bag his second gold as compatriot Ramadhan Vyombo narrowly lost out on a podium place clocking 25.81 for fourth.

The older of the Dunford siblings had booked his place in the morning heats tactically completing in fourth place after clocking 24.84.

The swimmer who was a finalist in Beijing four years ago but was eliminated in the semis of the 100m Butterfly at the London Olympics is using the championships in readiness for the World Cup series which opens in Dubai in October.

Despite bagging all the medals for the country, he was optimistic of the prospects of the emerging talent that is been slowly learning the ropes at the event.

“It’s the early days for most of them, they have a bright future with so much potential particularly with more participation in higher level of competitions,” he said after receiving his medals.

He bagged Kenya’s first gold on Tuesday after a successful defence of his 100m butterfly crown having returned silver and bronze in the 50m backstroke and 200m freestyle finals respectively on the opening day of the week long open championships.

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