James was born in the Seychelles but has spent the majority of his swimming career with Sean Kelly in Stockport. The double European junior champion in 200m and 400m IM has also made his name in the 200m back, striking gold at the Commonwealth Games in front of a home crowd in Manchester in 2002 and finishing 4th in the Olympic Games in Athens. In Beijing, James finished 6th in the 200IM. The 2008 European short course champion (200IM), has swum in the last four world championships, finishing 6th in the 200m IM and 200m back in 2009 and 2007 respectively.

1. When did you first realise you could be a great swimmer?

Sean Kelly because he coached me throughout my career.

2. What was the turning point in your career?

Making Commonwealth Games 2002 or winning Euro Juniors 2001.

3. What qualities make up a great swimmer?

Competitive, athletic, passion.

4. Who has inspired you?

Mainly the people who I have trained with throughout my career, ie.. Graeme Smith and Steve Parry

5. If you weren’t a swimer, what would you like to have been?

Football player.

6. What specific backstroke technique work do you do?

Technique work. Putting a cup on your head while you swim is a great drill.

7. What are your pre-race thoughts or routines?

Music gets me fired up; think about your own goals and targets.

8. What do you enjoy most about your swimming life?


9. What is your favourite line from a song?

“Feed the goat and he will score.”

10. What three pieces of advice would you give to a young swimmer that wants to reach the top?

Be consistent. Be competitive even in training. Have Fun.