Tom Shields Becomes First American Man Under 1:49 In The 200 Fly


LA Current swimmer Tom Shields swam to a second consecutive personal best time during the ISL Grand Final, setting a new American Record in the men’s 200 butterfly in 1:48.66.

Shields’ swim takes down his previous mark of 1:49.02, set last week during the semi-finals, and moves him past Laszlo Cseh (1:49.00) to become the third-fastest man of all-time.

When he broke the national record in the semis, Shields lowered his five-year-old mark of 1:49.05 set at the 2015 Duel in the Pool.

Split Comparison

Near identical over the middle 100, Shields was better opening and closing today compared to his swim in the semis.

Shields, Semis Shields, Final
24.65 24.42
27.59 (52.24) 27.59 (52.01)
28.02 (1:20.26) 28.07 (1:20.08)
28.76 (1:49.02) 28.58 (1:48.66)

The 29-year-old was out-touched at the finish by Energy Standard’s Chad Le Clos, who won the race in 1:48.57 for the fourth-fastest swim ever. That gives Shields the sixth-best of all-time, while Le Clos incredibly owns seven out of the top-10.

All-Time Performances, Men’s 200 Butterfly (SCM)

Rank Swimmer Time Year
1 Daiya Seto (JPN) 1:48.24 2018
2 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.32 2018
3 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.56 2013
4 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.57 2020
5 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.61 2014
6 Tom Shields (USA) 1:48.66 2020
7 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.67 2017
8 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.76 2016
9 Daiya Seto (JPN) 1:48.77 2019
10 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.88 2014

On the opening day of the meet, Shields recorded a PB of 48.47 in the 100 fly, under his old American Record, but Caeleb Dressel took that accolade by setting the world record in 47.78. Shields also recorded the fastest 100 fly relay split in history in 48.04.

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11 months ago

Congrats Tom!!!! Such a fantastic swim!!

Sun yang vial of blood
11 months ago

So happy for him !!!

11 months ago

Amazing to see Tom at the top of his game!

11 months ago

The ISL was made for Shields. Absolute underwater beast.

Mr Piano
11 months ago

I bow before his greatness.

11 months ago

Shields has been on 🔥 all season. Hopefully this translates to LCM for him.

The Original Tim
11 months ago

I really hope his ISL dominance gives him the boost he needs to crush it next summer, this was a great season of racing for Shields!

Coach Mike 1952
11 months ago

Smokin’ fast, congratulations Tom. No pianos for you in the ISL, & truly hope you can translate this to LCM as well now with no pianos either. Then one possibility could be Luca & you for Tokyo for USA next year.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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