Meanwhile, in Connecticut, Chad le Clos Swims His Own 100 Yard Fly

While American swimmer Tom Shields was in Atlanta at the U.S. Winter National Championships, becoming the first man to ever break 44 seconds in a 100 yard butterfly, South African Chad le Clos was swimming a 100 yard fly of his own in Connecticut.

Arriving in North America in anticipation of the 2016 Short Course World Swimming Championships, which will take place just across the border in Windsor, Canada, Le Clos and his brother Jordan landed at JFK Airport and drove to the Westport Weston Family YMCA to loosen up before making the final trip to Windsor.

Le Clos spent a few days training at the pool and as a thank you to the Water Rat Swim Team on Friday evening swam an exhibition 100 yard butterfly at the Strittmatter Family Aquatic Center – believed to be his first ever race in a yards pool.

In front of a full house, Le Clos clocked a 44.25 in the 100 yard fly, which at 5:15 Eastern Time when the swim happened would count as the third-fastest 100 yard fly ever swum (we’ve been unable to confirm if the swim was officiated or will be a recorded time).

Shortly thereafter, of course, American Tom Shields became the first-ever swimmer to go faster than 44 seconds in the 100 yard fly when he posted a 43.84 in Atlanta. That broke the old record of 44.01 done at last year’s NCAA Championships by Joseph Schooling. That swim relegated Le Clos’ record to just the 4th-fastest ever.

Le Clos is the current World Record holder in both the 100 and 200 flys in short course meters and a 6-time short course World Champion. While Shields’ time was almost half-a-second faster, remember the varying circumstances: Shields’ swim was done in a meet setting, Le Clos’ in an informal time trial setting. Also remember that Le Clos was dominant again in the World Cup circuit this year, winning every butterfly race – including several head-to-head matchups with Shields. While the difference from short course yards to short course meters isn’t as significant as the difference from short course yards to long course meters, the timing of turns and finishes is different. Whereas Shields’ experience in short course yards far outweighs Le Clos’, in short course meters Le Clos will have the home course advantage. Shields is one of the best swimmers in the world underwater, but the underwater maximum is at 15 meters in either a yards or a meters pool, and that extra 10%-or-so above the water should benefit the South African.

In either case, the pair of performances will build a lot of anticipation for the race in Windsor next week at a meet that could use a little drama without many of the world’s top swimming stars.

Below, check out the video evidence, courtesy of Wayne Ridden.

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5 years ago

LeClos is good for swimming. What a thrill for all those kids to see that!

Big Red
5 years ago

Of course the year after i head to college and leave the WRAT family

Reply to  Big Red
5 years ago

Once a WRAT always a WRAT
You’re still part of the family!

bobo gigi
5 years ago

Maybe the race of the meet next week on the men’s side.
The world record is in serious jeopardy.

Neck Goggles
5 years ago

Goggles around the neck?

Tom from Chicago
5 years ago

This LeClos kid is ok. He might be able to make NCAA finals.

5 years ago


tea rex
5 years ago

That’s pretty cool all those little YMCA kids got to see that up close.

5 years ago

This makes me sad knowing that we won’t ever see him in NCAA competition

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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