Defeat by more than three seconds at the hands (and feet) of his arch rival, Stephen Parry, in the 200m Butterfly rounded off a miserable week for James at the British Championships (50m) which were also doubling as the trials for this year’s World Championships in Barcelona. Parry looked very strong indeed winning the event in 1:56.35 while our own out-of-sorts Dolphin Boy failed to break magic two minute barrier, finishing in 2:00.04 comfortably ahead of Todd Cooper in third. The event still proved that Hickman and Parry are still Britain’s top two Butterfliers over the 200m distance but Hickman will be disappointed with his performance. Earlier in the week, Todd Cooper pulled-off a surprise victory in the final of the 100m Butterfly which meant that James went home without any British Titles in his preferred Butterfly events and more importantly hasn’t secured qualification for the World Championships team, although there are further events in which to qualify. “I’m really disappointed with my swims here this week. I can’t really explain it, I just feel flat at the moment. There’s no ‘buzz’, no ‘spark’. The fire really needs to be burning if you want to swim well”, he told afterwards. “But I’ll bounce back. I’ve been there before and I know how to deal with it now. There’s been a lot going on recently and I’ve just got to find my focus again”, he added. James next opportunity to qualify for the World Championships comes in Glasgow in June.