Shields Strikes Down Dressel’s SCM 50 Fly American Record – 21.99


Age is just a number for American Tom Shields, as the 30-year-old just put up a huge new personal best and national record in the men’s 50m butterfly.

While competing on the final day of action in Budapest, Hungary for this second stop on the 2021 FINA World Cup circuit, Shields busted out a time of 21.99 to beat the field here by .25 but also beat out multi-Olympic gold medalist Caeleb Dressel‘s American record in this event.

Dressel had held the record at the 22.04 he produced during season 2 of the International Swimming League (ISL). As such, Shields’ 21.99 renders him as the first American to ever get under the 22-second threshold in this short course 50 butterfly event. Prior to this meet, Shields held a personal best of 22.09 from just last week in Berlin.

Expanding globally, Shields now ranks as the 6th fastest man ever, booting Dressel to slot #7.

Top 7 Men’s SCM 50 Fly Performers All-Time

  1. Nicolas Santos (BRA), 21.75 2018
  2. Steffen Deibler (GER), 21.80 2009
  3. Szebasztian Szabo (HUN), 21.86 2020
  4. Roland Schoeman (RSA), 21.87 2009
  5. Chad Le Clos (RSA), 21.95, 2014
  6. Tom Shields (USA), 21.99 2021
  7. Caeleb Dressel (USA), 22.04 2020


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2 years ago

I knew Schoeman was old, but I didn’t know he was around in the year 209

Carol Waldrop
2 years ago

Tom Shields is King Midas🥇in Budapest Hungary!!!

Eric the eel > Phelps
2 years ago

My guy is about to break 48 in the 100

Reply to  Eric the eel > Phelps
2 years ago

The SC 100 fly record already is under 48.

Last edited 2 years ago by Tony
Reply to  Tony
2 years ago

Wow that sure means that shields can’t swim a 100fly under 48 seconds ..

2 years ago

„Mister 17.6 no fins“ is about to go 21.6 by the end of the season

Reply to  Remel
2 years ago

Ok I’m a big ben proud fan and even I know he’s probably not going to go 21. let alone a 21.6

Reply to  Yoo
2 years ago

“Mister 17.6 no fins” is Caeleb Remel Dressel, not Proud.

Reply to  Swimfan
2 years ago

Yep just realised how stupid I was and i can’t even edit it anymore so i guess its now a “how many downvotes can this comment get” comment.

2 years ago

I actually love Tom Shields

Reply to  Tomek
2 years ago

Tom is a fascinating guy, he’s a true pros pro, he’s really thoughtful, he’s smart, he understands the game…if he decides to stay ‘in it,’ he would be a great long term fit for a job like head of the athletes’ association, or on a board of USA Swimming or FINA.

2 years ago

Remember like 2-3 years ago when it seemed like Shields was on his way out? Crazy to see this rejuvenation come from him.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  KimJongSpoon
2 years ago

Antidepressants and therapy work. Sad that so many elite swimmers wait too long or don’t go there at all. Good for Tom.

2 years ago

Shields the man!

2 years ago


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Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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