Today we pay tribute to
Jason Edward Dunford (born 28th November 1986) is a Kenyan swimmer. He is predominantly a butterfly and freestyle sprinter.
Jason started swimming at the age of five and was while at Kenton College, a primary school in Nairobi under Coach Andrew Nderu. At the age of 13, the talented swimmer moved to study at Marlborough College in the United Kingdom.
Jason competed in various races at the 2004 Short Course World Championships in Indianapolis, and 2005 World Championships in Montreal, but the younger swimmer failed to advance past the heats. At the 2006 Short Course World Championships in Shangai he reached semi-finals in two events which were: 100 meters freestyle and 100 meters butterfly. He missed the 2006 Commonwealth Games due to exams.
The 2006 African Swimming Championships in Dakar Senegal, marked the breakthrough moment for him as he became the first Kenyan ever to win a continental swimming medal gold in the 100m butterfly and 50m backstroke. He went on to finish the competition with two gold medals (100m butterfly and 50m backstroke), three silvers (50m butterfly, 100m and 200m freestyle) and one bronze (50m freestyle). His success in 2006 earned him second place in the Kenyan Sportsman of the year award.
Dunford participated in several races at the 2007 World Championship in Melbourne, Australia. His best was reaching the 100m butterfly final where he finished eighth. He became the first Kenyan swimmer to qualify for the Olympics, gaining qualification for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China in the 100m butterfly as well as the 100m freestyle. At the 2007 All-Africa Games in Agier Jason won three gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m butterfly), two silver (50m freestyle, 100m backstroke) and three bronze (50m backstroke, 100m and 200m freestyle). For his efforts in this games, Dunford was awarded the Safaricom Kenyan Sportsman of the year award for 2007.