Plymouth swimmer Antony James may have missed Olympics by 1/10th of a second
PLYMOUTH swimming star Antony James may have missed out on going to the London Olympics by just a 10th of a second.
Commonwealth Games medallist James won the race he had to at his last chance to qualify for London last night.
But his time in the 100m butterfly final at Sheffield's Ponds Forge centre was one 10th of a second outside the Olympic qualifying time.
The ASA National Championships also double as a second Olympic qualifier.
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James finished in first place, although a gold medal may not be much of a consolation if he does not make the Olympics.
The alternative to not being selected for the Great Britain swimming team is one of the city's most talented swimmers kicking his heels this summer while the greatest sporting show in the world is being staged in the UK.
James had failed in his first bid to qualify at the British Championships in March.
He will not know until Monday whether he is selected for the Great Britain swimming team.
The Leander man did almost all he could. He won his butterfly final in 52.46seconds – well ahead of his nearest rival, Loughborough University's Jack Marriott, who finished in 53.12.
In third was Peterlee's Ian Hulme, who posted 53.79.
For James not to go to the games would be a major swimming earthquake as he is ranked number one in the country at the 100m butterfly.
The Commonwealth Games silver medallist missed out on the chance to guarantee his place on the Great Britain team when he surprisingly only finished third in the 100m butterfly final at the British Gas Swimming Championships in March.
Plymouth Leander coach Jon Rudd said James was philosophical after last night's race.
Rudd, who was with the Leander man at Ponds Forge, said: "All's not lost until the selection for the Great Britain team is officially named.
"We're going to carry on as we have been until we don't get a letter saying that we're going."
Rudd described yesterday's session at Ponds Forge as a 'nearly night' for Plymouth Leander swimmers.
He said: "Antony nearly made the qualifying time, Steve Beckerleg finished fourth in the 200 freestyle and Joe Patching was fifth in 200 backstroke. In terms of the championships, they had a very good night indeed."
Rudd (left), who is also the director of swimming at Plymouth College and an England swimming coach, said he did not know if James would be in with a chance of getting selected.
He said: "You just don't know what might happen. It may be that Antony will be selected as cover for the 100m butterfly in the medley relay team, because that's a place where the Great Britain team don't have cover.
"They (the selectors) know that with Antony, they are getting someone who can compete under the bright lights of a big competition."
ASA National Championships and second GB Olympic trials: Men's Open 100m Butterfly Final: 1 ANTONY JAMES Plymouth Leander 52.46sec, 2 Jack Marriott Loughboro Un 53.12, 3 Ian Hulme Peterlee 53.79, 4 Joseph Roebuck Loughboro Un 53.86, 5 Karl Botha Millfield 53.96, 6 Thomas Laxton Loughboro Un 54.08, 7 Michael Rock Stockport Mo 54.14, 8 Adam Barrett Loughboro Un 54.28, 9 Harry Needs Nova Cent'n 54.50, 10 Jamie Thorpe Co Leicester 54.82