Dunfords attract rare attention - Daily Nation

Dunfords attract rare attention

Wednesday August 6 2008

David Dunford (left) and his brother Jason

David Dunford (left) and his brother Jason leave the aquatic stadium in Beijing after a training session on Wednesday. With them is team manager Joe Mutune. Photo/MOHAMMED AMIN. 

By ELIAS MAKORI in Beijing

Jason Dunford and his younger brother David are the best ambassadors that Kenya has not had.

That the Kenya Tourism Board, Ministry of Tourism and the rest of our shop windows haven’t thought of engaging these young Stanford University swimmers in their promotional drives is puzzling.

With little to get Kenya’s distance runners save for their well worn one-line answers, a few sharp Olympic scribes have fished the Dunford brothers out of their pool of endless achievements for refreshing stories.

Word is quickly spreading around the Main Press Centre about the pair and their mission in the imposing Olympic pool.

Flawless Kiswahili

Italian and Danish media have already run stories of the Dunfords and highlighted the fact that they are able to speak flawless Kiswahili despite being white, and that they have great pride in their Kenyan nation.

Their birthplace. Their commitment to the Kenyan cause is never in doubt.

And after a dip in the pool for Wednesday’s afternoon training session at the aquatic stadium christened the “Water Cube”, Jason’s self-assuring smile as he fielded questions from the Nation team suggested expectations for a place in the final, and a medal, in the 100m butterfly isn’t asking for too much.

“It’s the second day since we arrived and we had a session on Tuesday just to shake off the jet lag a bit. Wednesday's session was a bit easy with a few short sprints,” Jason, a Human Physiology student at Palo Alto, said.

Jason’s programme starts next Tuesday with the 100 metres freestyle, his weaker event among the two he has been entered in here, his main hopes pegged on the 100m butterfly.

David is also happy with the conditions here, the imposing stadium, an architectural masterpiece, providing the most appropriate of stages for yet another landmark in his fledgling career.

The four Kenyan boxers also had a workout Wednesday morning and all appeared to be in good shape.