In home waters, Steve Parry of Stockport Metro looked to have the Men’s 100m Butterfly gold in his possession but a late flurry by James saw both swimmer’s tie for first place in 52.52. Matt Bowe of Bath was third in 52.90.

However, Parry took the honours in a close contest in the men’s 200m butterfly touching first ahead of the four-time world short course champion. Parry clocked 1.53.19sec, with Hickman just behind in 1.53.61sec. Matthew Edwards picked up the bronze in 1.56.55sec.

However, Hickman who now swims for City of Manchester Acquatics took the gold in the Men’s 100m Individual Medley when he built up an impressive lead over the first three legs to hold on to victory in 54.91. Adrian Turner of Stockport was second in 55.66 and Edmond was third in 55.67.

There was further good news for James in the 50m Butterfly, when he predictably finished second behind Mark Foster of Bath University. Foster who has pretty much made the 50m event his own over the years, hung on to win in 23.57 finishing just ahead of Hickman who clocked a new personal best in 23.69 with David Jones of Llanelli in third place in 25.01