Tom Shields wasn’t satisfied with setting just one American record at the Eindhoven stop of the FINA World Cup Series last Wednesday. To remedy this, Shields continued his tremendous year with new American Records in both the 100 and 200 SCM Butterfly at the Berlin stop, with times of 49.01 and 1:51.31 respectively.
His 100 butterfly just nipped the previous standard of 49.07 that had been established by Ian Crocker back at the 2004 NCAA Championships, when the meet was contested in short course meters. Shields took first over South Africa’s Chad Le Clos (49.48) and Germany’s Steffen Deibler (49.72).
Here is a comparison of his splits with Crocker’s:
Ian Crocker ’04: 22.76, 49.07 (26.31)
Tom Shields ’13: 23.06, 49.01 (25.95)
Though Shields was out a full three-tenths slower than Crocker, Ian was always known for his opening speed, while Shields has established himself as one of the best and most consistent underwater swimmers in the world. This likely is the primary reason why Shields was able to come home so strongly, as his 25.95 was nearly a full three-tenths faster than the second 50 of Chad Le Clos (26.21), who is also renowned for his monster closing speed.
In the 200 meter butterfly, Shields just clipped his own record from last Wednesday (1:51.38), with a 1:51.31 effort that was good for 4th place. He finished 4th behind Le Clos (1:49.90), Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski (1:50.43), and Japan’s Daiya Seto (1:50.96).
Here is a comparison of his splits:
Tom Shields Eindhoven ’13: 25.03, 53.71 (28.68), 1:22.49 (28.78), 1:51.38 (28.89)
Tom Shields Berlin ’13: 25.11, 53.74 (28.63), 1:22.54 (28.80), 1:51.31 (28.77)
Shields swam a very similar race to the one he completed in Eindhoven, but had a little more left in the tank going into his last 50. As he already held the 50 meter butterfly American Record from last December in Istanbul, he is now the American Record holder in all three butterfly distances.