The disappointment shows as James realises he has failed to qualify for the World Championships.

The Scottish National Championships was the final opportunity for James to qualify for next month’s World Championships (50m) in Barcelona. Having missed out on the Championships two years ago in Japan, James was anxious to make the GB team selection. After a poor British Championships in March, the 27 year old Mancunian put himself through intensive altitude training in Arizona in May in a bid to make the qualifying time. However, there was further disappointment to come in Glasgow. Despite winning the 100m Butterfly to re-assert his position as the number one British swimmer over the distance his time of 53.61 secs was outside the required time of 52.82 to qualify. Todd Cooper and Stephen Parry were second and third with times of 53.76 and 55.06 respectively.

Failure to qualify in the 100m meant it that was all down to the 200m Butterfly, James’ preferred event. His arch-rival, Stephen Parry had already assured himself of qualification when he cruised to an easy victory at the British Championships in March. Again in Glasgow, Parry proved, at least on current form, that there is a big margin between him and the best of the rest in the 200m event as he swam to victory in 1:57.09 once again comfortably inside the qualification time. James was second in 1:58.87 over a second outside the qualifying time of 1:57.70 but a substantial improvement over his performance in Sheffield. Stirling’s Mark Lewis was third in 2:03.26

“I’m devastated”, James said afterwards. “I gave this one everything. I won’t be going to the World’s but now I have got to focus my attention on the Olympics in Athens next year.”