Ja­son’s chas­ing gold

The Jewish Chronicle - - SPORT - BYDANNYCARO

SPORT Ja­son Dunford does not feel un­der pres­sure to re­peat his hero­ics of Delhi 2010 as he bids to de­fend his Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal.

Hav­ing won Kenya’s first Com­mon­wealth gold four years ago, he is set­ting his sights on more sil­ver­ware in Glas­gow next week.

“I’m very ex­cited about the Games,” he said. “It is al­ways an hon­our to rep­re­sent Kenya and these Games look like they are go­ing to be a great ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I have vis­ited Ed­in­burgh but never Glas­gow so I look for­ward to see­ing the city.”

Dunford, 27, is con­fi­dent he can re­tain his 50m but­ter­fly ti­tle. He will also com­pete in the 100m but­ter­fly and 100m freestyle.

“My prepa­ra­tions have gone very well,” he said. “I have been train­ing bet­ter than ever be­fore. I have in­creased my strength sig­nif­i­cantly over the past year and have been happy with my re­sults from com­pe­ti­tions in the build-up to the games.

“Now it is just about stay­ing calm and get­ting my mind ready to com­pete. Of course, I’m very de­ter­mined. It’ll be a tough field and I am not tak­ing any- thing for granted. I’ll be happy if I can swim best times as that should put me among the medals.”

Dunford reached the Olympic fi­nal in Lon­don two years ago and is look­ing for­ward to his re­turn to the UK. “I have not been back since,” he said. “How­ever, I got mar­ried a cou­ple of weeks ago and quite a few of my English friends from my time at Marl­bor­ough Col­lege came to Cal­i­for­nia for the wed­ding. It was fan­tas­tic to get to cel­e­brate with them.”

As yet, he has no plans to meet Glas­gow’s Jewish com­mu­nity. “I am not re­ally look­ing at any­thing away from the pool,” he said.

“My fo­cus is firmly on the com­pe­ti­tion and as cap­tain of the Kenya swim team, I have a r e s p o n s i b i l - ity to the other s w i m m e r s in in­spir­ing t h e m a n d h e l p i n g them per­form at their best.”

Na­tional cham­pion Steve Solomon will line-up for the Aus­tralian 4x400m re­lay team. Hav­ing reached the 400m fi­nal at Lon­don 2012, the for­mer Mac­cabiah ath­lete re­cently helped Stan­ford Univer­sity win the NCAA in­door ti­tle in the same event and he ar­rives in Glas­gow fully re­cov­ered from a ham­string strain.

Rob Levy is con­fi­dent New Zealand’s judo squad will chal­lenge for medals.

A 5th Dan who has rep­re­sented New Zealand for more than 10 years, Levy has claimed medals at the US Open, Mac­cabiah Games and the Com­mon­wealth Cham­pi­onships. He said: “We’ve got a blend of real ex­pe­ri­ence and up-and-com­ing ath­letes who are re­ally peak­ing for this event.

“We’ve got more depth and for the last two years we’ve ab­so­lutely dom­i­nated in Ocea­nia.”

“If we­came­home with­some­thing­like five medals, we’d be over the moon.”

PHOTO: AP

Steve Solomon

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.