Jason makes semi-finals
Posted Thursday, August 2 2012 at 23:56
Africa champion Jason Dunford was on Thursday night looking to reach his second Olympic final after making it through to the semi-finals of the 100 metres butterfly in London.
That however came minutes after his brother David was eliminated from the 50m freestyle competition at the Aquatics Centre at Olympic Park.
David failed to make the last 16 in the opening round, finishing 27th overall as he clocked 22.72 seconds in his heat.
Jason however advanced to last night’s semis with a 15th place overall in 52.23 in a competition that features Michael Phelps of USA, the world record holder and most successful Olympian ever with 18 medals.
“I’m disappointed... I don’t know what went wrong... I will now have to go back to the drawing board, but what remains is to support my brother Jason as I’m sure he will make it to the final,” David said after finishing third in his heat.
Jason, who made the final of the last Olympics in Beijing after finishing in fifth place, was fourth overall at last year’s World Championships in Shanghai, China, and won the Paris Open swim last month. That success places him among medal hopefuls.
Kiprop launches defence
And as the Dunford brothers attacked the pool, track action starts on Friday with Kenya in action in the 400 metres hurdles (men), 1,500m heats (men) and women’s 10,000m final at the Olympic Stadium.
The first Kenyan on the track is Vincent Kiplangat Kosgei, who competes in the 400m hurdles heats from 1.15pm Kenyan time. The Kenya Prisons runner’s heat six is scheduled for 1.50pm.
Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop then launches the campaign to defend his 1,500m title at 10.05pm when the opening round begins. Also running for Kenya in this race are Nixon Chepseba and Silas Kiplagat.
The women’s 400m first round will be from 2pm with Joyce Zakari running in the opening heat alongside Great Britain’s defending champion Christine Ohuruogu.
Round one of the men’s steeplechase will also be run today, from 3pm, with fierce competition expected between World champion Ezekiel Kemboi and defending Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto in Sunday’s final.
Kenya has always struggled in the hurdles with only three world class hurdlers – Shem Ochako, Barnabas Kinyor and national record holder Eric Keter – having made an impact in global competition, but Kosgei is happy with his build-up so far.
“I have learnt fresh techniques during training here and meeting and chatting with the world’s top hurdlers in the Olympic Village has given me a fresh insight into hurdling and I’m ready to go,” said Kosgei, who attained the Olympic qualifying time at last year’s World Championships in Daegu, South Korea, where he ran 49.71 seconds in the semi-finals.
Learnt different techniques
Kosgei has been training in Bristol and London over the past month and is confident that his stint here will hold him in good stead when the competition gets under way.
“I have learnt different hurdling techniques,” said the man from Bomet who won a bronze medal at last month’s Africa Championships in Porto Novo, Benin, and who is keen on overhauling Eric Keter’s long-standing Kenya record of 48.24 in the course of these Games.
Puerto Rico’s double World silver medallist Javier Culson is in the form of his life and heavily favoured to take gold from Briton Dai Greene, the World, European and Commonwealth champion.
Kosgei met Culson at the Olympic Village this week and learnt a few tips from the fastest athlete in the event this year, who clocked 47.78 at the Paris Diamond League meeting last month.