Tim Phillips to Replace Michael Phelps on 2015 World Championships Squad

American swimmer Tim Phillips will replace Michael Phelps in the 100 fly on Team USA’s roster for the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russia.

“It’s unfortunate about the circumstances regarding (Michael Phelps), but I am very grateful that I get to go and believe I deserve to be there,” Phillips said.

Phillips will occupy the spot that was vacated when Phelps and USA Swimming agreed that he would withdraw from the team after Phelps was arrested for DUI. Phillips’ swim of 51.49 in the 100 fly from the U.S. National Championships in August made him next in line for that spot, and he’ll join the National Champion Tom Shields (51.29) on the American team in that event.

The two will also likely be given the first shot at prelims and finals swims on the 400 medley relay, though Ryan Lochte (51.55 at Pan Pacs) should be a consideration there as well. Out of the 10-fastest Americans in the 100 long course fly last year, Lochte was the only swimmer to swim a best time at a meet other than U.S. Nationals, showing an ability to both swim well at the qualifying meet and still improve to the next meet.

On the other hand, Phillips’ B-Final win in the 100 fly at Pan Pacs in 51.52 was faster than Lochte’s 2nd-place time in the A-Final of 51.67.

In short: the Americans have a lot of great options for that relay with the deepest 100 fly group in the world, and will have a full meet to figure things out.

Phillips swam lifetime bests this summer in long course in the 50 free (23.17), 100 free (49.34), and 100 fly (51.49) – which are easily his three best events. The 100 free (with increasing relay potential) and the 100 fly are his primary opportunities as he rolls into his professional career.

Phillips says that he is finishing his degree up at Ohio State this semester, which he described as being “extremely important” to him. In January, he then plans to head to SwimMAC Carolina full-time – he’s split his time between Ohio State and SwimMAC for much of the last few years.


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6 years ago

pound for pound, I think Tim Phillips is the fastest flyer on earth right now. He’s not a big guy by any standard. He’s getting a lot out of his body….

lane 0
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
6 years ago

He’s got potential, he was 51 mid in 2011. Training with swim mac, I’m sure he’ll improve. Not many swimmers can take a 100 fly out in 23 high. Also, is it possible or likely that he could swim the 50 fly at worlds as well?

Reply to  lane 0
6 years ago

He already qualified for the 50fly.

Reply to  MIKE
6 years ago

Only the winner (i.e. Grevers, in this case) automatically qualifies in non-Olympic events. The second spot is decided by the coaches.

Reply to  Ferb
6 years ago

Actually, I just looked up the criteria, and it appears that Tom Shields qualifies for the second spot in the 50 fly, due to having the fastest 100 fly in qualifying competitions. That is assuming Shields has the FINA “A” standard in the 50 fly; if not, the spot goes to the fastest 50 fly swimmer (from June 25, 2013 – August 24, 2014) who is already on the WC team, provided that guy has the “A” standard. See pages 10-11:


6 years ago

It will be interesting to see how this plays out for Phillips, that is, if a Michael Phelps withdrawal will be as beneficial for him as it was for Nathan Adrian.

Remember back to the 2008 US Olympic Trials. Phelps swam the prelims and semis of the 100 meter freestyle to show that he was fast enough to be considered for the 4×100 free relay. Phelps had a fast semi time, but then WITHDREW from the finals. That opened up another spot for the finals. There was a two-tie for 9th place. One of these swimmers was a young Nathan Adrian. Adrian won the swim-off and earned the right to swim in the finals. Adrian then went on to finish… Read more »

Reply to  Roger von Oech
6 years ago

Michael Phelps only swam prelims of the 100 free at the 2008 trials. Although its possible that someone else dropped out (Lochte?).

Reply to  swimmer24
6 years ago

Thanks. I stand corrected, Swimmer24. Phelps swam 47.92 in the morning (finishing second), and then didnt swim in the semi-finals.


It was Lochte who dropped out of the finals. I get my Phlochtes mixed up!

Let me correct my initial statement: I wonder if a Michael Phelps withdrawal in 2014 will be as beneficial for Tim Phillips as a Ryan Lochte withdrawal was for Nathan Adrian in 2008! Good luck Tim!

Reply to  Roger von Oech
6 years ago

Oh, no! You stole the nickname I gave my son! He was entered in 2 IMs, 2 flys, and 2 backs in last year’s state meet, so I called him Phelochte (slightly different spelling). Should have patented it!

Reply to  swim4fun
6 years ago

More fun with names : Phillips + Lochte =Philoctetes?

6 years ago

So happy for Tim. I’ve been watching him swim since his high school days in WV. He’s a great guy and an awesome swimmer. Go Tim go!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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