Swimming through illness to a rough 200 free on day 1 of the Beijing World Cup, American Olympian Tom Shields says he will drop the 200 back on day 2, but is still scheduled to swim the 50 fly.
Shields posted the update to his Instagram, noting that he’s “been sick for a bit” and making joke about trying to butterfly his way to better health:
Shields was entered in the 200 free and 100 fly this morning. Seeded with a lifetime-best 1:43.58 in the 200, Shields struggled to a 1:49.88 and a 29th place finish, missing the final by a wide margin. In fact, Shields has been faster in his 200 fly than he was in the 200 free this morning.
He didn’t contest prelims of the 100 fly, but under FINA’s new World Cup rules, he was still allowed automatic entry to the final by virtue of his status as a World Champs silver medalist from the 2016 Short Course World Champs.
Shields wasn’t the only one to take advantage of that rule; Chad le Clos also sat out the heats and went on to win. Shields ultimately finished 7th in 52.67.
Per his Instagram post, Shields will scratch the 200 back tomorrow, but still appears on start lists for the 50 fly.