Jason Edward Dunford (born 28 November 1986 in Nairobi) is a Kenyan Olympic swimmer, media personality, and entrepreneur. He is predominantly a butterfly and freestyle sprinter and won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games, Universiade, All-Africa Games and African Championships, and reached finals at Olympics, World Championships and Short Course World Championships. He also held African, Universiade and Olympic records. He is the founder/host of J-Talk Live, co-founder/advisor to energy startup, Safi Analytics.
|Full name||Jason Edward Dunford|
|Nickname(s)||"Jay", "The Kenyan Torpedo", "The Human Spring"|
28 November 1986 |
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|Club||Stanford, PASA, ADN Swim Project|
|College team||Stanford University|
Jason is the son of Martin and Geraldine Dunford. Martin Dunford is the Chairman of the Tamarind Group, which owns the Carnivore Restaurant. Geraldine, is granddaughter to Abraham Block, the founder of Block Hotels, an African hospitality conglomerate that previously owned The Norfolk Hotel, Keekorock, Treetops, Nyali Beach Hotel and the New Stanley among others. Martin was the vice-chairman of the Kenya Swimming Federation and the patron of the Nairobi Amateur Swimming Association (NASA).
He has two brothers, Robert and David. His older brother, Robert, is a graduate of the London School of Economics and works for Standard Bank in Johannesburg. He is part of the ultra-swim group MadSwimmer that completes long-distance, open-water swims around the world to raise money for local charities. His younger brother, David, was also an international swimmer and represented Kenya from 2005 to 2012.
On 28 June 2014, he married Lauren Dunford (nee Finzer) of Albany, California, daughter of William Finzer and Brigid McCaw.
Jason Dunford started swimming competitively in 1991, at the age of five and it was while at Kenton College, a primary school in Nairobi, under coach Andrew Nderu, that he began to establish himself as a top swimmer in age group for the region. At 13, the talented swimmer moved to study at Marlborough College (a boarding secondary school) in the United Kingdom.
While at Marlborough College he met coach Peter O'Sullivan, himself a former Great Britain International Swimmer in the 400 m Individual medley. O'Sullivan had swum at the University of Georgia, and it was he who encouraged Jason to look to college in the US to develop his swimming career. In 2005, After finishing his A-Levels, Dunford moved to Stanford University in the United States where he earned a swimming scholarship. In 2009, he graduated with a BA in Human biology. and in 2012, completed his MS in Earth Systems. He enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford Graduate School of Business from September 2016-18.
2006–2007 – Continental topEdit
The 2006 African Swimming Championships in Dakar, Senegal, marked a breakthrough moment for him as he became the first Kenyan ever to win a continental swimming medal with gold in the 100m butterfly on the first day of competition. 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). He also broke a number of national records. His younger brother David Dunford also performed well, winning two golds and one silver (100m backstroke, 200m backstroke and 50m backstroke).
His success in 2006 earned him second place in the Kenyan Sportsman of the Year award, behind Alex Kipchirchir, one of Kenya's many world-class runners. His brother David Dunford was selected as the Most Promising Sportsman at the same awards.
Dunford participated in several races at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia. His best result was reaching a 100 m butterfly final, where he finished eighth. On his way to final, he clocked 51.85, a new African record to beat Commonwealth Games Champion, Ryan Pini of Papua New Guinea in a swim-off for the 8th spot in the final. He also 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. On earlier occasions, some Kenyan swimmers have participated in the Olympics, but only on the IOC swimming wild card.
At the 2007 All-Africa Games in Algiers Jason Dunford won three gold medals (50m, 100m and 200m butterfly), two silver (50m freestyle, 100m backstroke) and three bronze (50m backstroke, 100m and 200 m freestyle). For his efforts at these games and the Melbourne World Championships, Dunford was awarded the Safaricom Kenyan Sportsman of the Year Award for 2007.
2008–2009 – Olympics and UniversiadeEdit
At the 2008 Olympics he competed in two events. In the 100-metre freestyle heats, he finished 24th overall, missing the semi-finals. He did, however, set a new national record of 49.06. In his main event, the 100-metre butterfly, he qualified for the semi-finals, posting a new Olympic record of 51.14, and simultaneously bettering his own African record. The previous Olympic record (51.25) was set by Michael Phelps at the 2004 Olympics. Dunford's Olympic record did not last long; just a few minutes later Milorad Čavić of Serbia recorded 50.76, followed by two other swimmers (including Phelps) who beat Dunford's time. He reached the final and finished fifth by swimming 51.47.
His first major competition in 2009 was the Summer Universiade in Belgrade, where he won the 100 metres butterfly race in a time of 51.29s. In the semi-finals he had swum a new Universiade record 50.85s, also beating the African record again. At the 50 metres butterfly race he got silver behind Jernej Godec of Slovenia, but was fastest in the semi-finals, his time 23.09s being new Universiade record, still in force after the final. Dunford was also the bronze medalist over 100 metres freestyle in a time of 48.73.
At the 2009 World Championships he finished sixth in the 50 m butterfly and 100 m butterfly races. In the 100 fly semi-finals he set a new African and Commonwealth record (50.78s). Dunford graduated from the Stanford University in 2009 with BSc degree in Human biology, but studies for master's degree in Earth Systems at the same university
2010 – Commonwealth GamesEdit
Dunford continued his continental medal hunting at 2010 African Swimming Championships winning two gold medals in butterfly and two freestyle silver medals.
2011– World Championships and All Africa GamesEdit
Dunford placed 4th in the 100m butterfly and 7th in the 50m butterfly at the Shanghai World Championships.
Then at the All Africa Games in Maputo he won gold medals in the 50 and 100m butterfly, silvers in the 50m backstroke, 100m freestyle and 200m butterfly and a bronze in the 50m freestyle.
2012 Summer OlympicsEdit
2014 Commonwealth GamesEdit
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Dunford reached the final in the 50 and 100 m butterfly. title = After representing Kenya for just shy of a decade, this was his final international competition.
2014 - presentEdit
After retiring from swimming, Jason worked for two companies based in the San Francisco Bay Area, GreenCitizen and Sunrun. In 2016 he enrolled at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to pursue his MBA, following earlier attainment of a BA in Human Biology and an MS in Earth Sytems from Stanford University.
- World Investment News, 18 June 1999: Interview with Mr. Martin Dunford
- Daily Nation, 14 July 2007: ALL AFRICA GAMES: Dunford proves his mettle[permanent dead link]
- Swimnews.com, 26 March 2007: A Tale Of Hope Out Of Africa
- Swimrankings.net profile – Season 2005
- Stanford University: Jason Dunford Archived 15 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- Swimrankings.net profile – Season 2006
- The Stansard, 6 October 2010: Jason Dunford qualifies for 50m butterfly final
- Stanford University: David Dunford Archived 14 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Standard 23 February 2007 Kipchirchir, Jepkosgei named Soya winners Archived 3 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Melbourne 2007 Swimming results
- The Standard, 13 July 2007: Dunford bags Kenya’s first gold in Algeria Archived 3 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2007 All-Africa Games Archived 4 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Standard, 20 March 2008: Dunford, Jepkosgei Soya Winners Archived 3 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 FINA Short Course World Championships – Men's 100m butterfly final Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 Olympics 100 metres freestyle results Archived 15 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 Olympics, 100 metres butterfly results – Heat 7 Archived 17 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 Olympics, 100 metres butterfly – Heat 9 Archived 17 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2008 Olympics – 100m butterfly final results Archived 19 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
- The Standard, 3 January 2009: Dunford, Ajulu impress as swimmers come of age Archived 3 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- 2009 Summer Universiade results service: Men's 100m Butterfly Finals Final A Archived 14 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- The 25th Universiade Belgrade 2009 Swimming Bulletin № 5 July 10, 2009
- World University Games, Swimming: Jason Dunford Sets African Record, Rie Kaneto Claims Asian Mark, Incredible 50 Breast Semis Archived 7 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine., Swimming World Magazine online; published 2009-07-09, retrieved 10 July 2009
- The 25th Universiade Belgrade 2009, Swimming, Bulletin № 1, July 6, 2009
- The 25th Universiade Belgrade 2009, Swimming, Bulletin № 2, July 7, 2009
- Omega Timing: Swimming at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships – Men's 50m butterfly final Archived 6 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Omega Timing: Swimming at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships – Men's 100m butterfly final[permanent dead link]
- Omega Timing: 2009 World Aquatics Championships – Men's 100m butterfly semifinals Archived 6 August 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
- Daily Nation, 7 December 2009: Dunford bags silver at US Open meet
- [permanent dead link]
- "Swimming at the 2012 London Summer Games: Men's 100 metres Butterfly Semi-Finals | Olympics at Sports-Reference.com". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- "Glasgow 2014 – Jason Edward Dunford Profile". g2014results.thecgf.com. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
- "Jason retires".
- "Stanford GSB Admission Panel".
- "Jason Dunford on Facebook".