By Oscar Pilipili
Jason Dunford is arguably the most successful Kenyan swimmer of the current generation.
Dunford’s track record indicates that his career has been characterised with numerous firsts.
He was the first swimmer to win Kenya an international medal with a gold medal in 100m butterfly at African Swimming Championships in Dakar, Senegal in 2006.
Dunford was the one of the first two Kenyans, the other being his younger brother David, to ever qualify for Olympics when they made it to the 2008 Beijing Summer Games.
Previously, Kenyans went to the Olympics through wildcards.
Dunford, currently a student of human physiology at Stanford University in the US, was also the first Kenyan to claim a swimming medal at Commonwealth Games with gold in 50m butterfly.
These are just a tip of the iceberg in the numerous firsts scored by the swimming star in his illustrious career.
Dunford believes he has the head and shoulder to bear the enormous weight of expectations placed on him by Kenyans.
“When I think of those moments, my immediate reaction is, ‘Oh, why can’t I be the first Kenyan to bag a swimming medal at Olympics,” he exclaimed. “I look back and say, Oh my God! If I have managed to achieve all these firsts, why can’t I extend the record to Olympics,” said Dunford in a recent statement.
He understands victory does not come on a silver platter and that is the reason to why he pitched his training camp in Europe.