Plymouth swimming star James recovers from injury in time for university championships
CITY swimming star Antony James is gearing himself up for his first major outing for three months.
Commonwealth Games medal-winner James has been nursing a back injury which has kept him out of competition swimming since November.
He gets the chance to get back on the pace over the weekend, when he takes part in the British Universities Championships in Sheffield.
Great Britain star James has continued to train through the period of his injury, said his coach, Jon Rudd.
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Rudd, director of swimming at Plymouth College and head coach of top UK club Plymouth Leander, said: "Antony's back injury just crept up, it was nothing specific and just one of those things.
"However, he's been working with his physio, Paris Payne and he's looking good for the weekend.
"He's been in and out of the pool and had some good sessions in the gym – he certainly hasn't been sitting on his hands.
"Antony's been training really well and although it's not the right time for him to go at his fastest speed, it will be interesting to see how he does."
James will be joined from the Leander stable by Sian Harkin, plus Chris Lee, who will be representing Plymouth City College.
Leander have also been asked to supply some guests for the event, including Olympic gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte.
Teenager Meilutyte won the 100 metres breaststroke at the London Olympic Games last year.
Leander Great Britain swimmers Ben Proud, Grace Vertigans and Joe Patching will also compete.
Guests, however, are not allowed to appear in finals at the championships, although they can swim in heats.
Were someone like Meilutyte allowed to swim in a final, it is odds-on she would walk away with the event.
Rudd said: "The organisers said they had never had an Olympic gold medallist at the championships before and would Ruta take part, so we agreed."
James hit the headlines when he medalled twice in the Delhi Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old returned to a hero's welcome after clinching a superb silver medal in the 100m butterfly and an England team bronze in the 4x100m relay.