Tom Shields Breaks American Record in 200 SCM Fly at Doha World Cup

Tom Shields has re-broken his own American Record in the 200 short course meter butterfly on day 1 of the 2014 FINA World Cup Series stop in Doha, Qatar.

After a casual 1:55.0 in prelims, Shields exploded for a 1:50.08 in finals, which was faster than the 1:50.61 that he did at the 2013 Duel in the Pool in Glasgow. This record-setting swim wasn’t so much of a surprise in the sense of Shields not being capable of improving the record. Rather, with a very short turnaround from Pan Pacs that ended on the other side of the world in Australia on Sunday, and a meet that didn’t go as well for him as U.S. Nationals did, it wasn’t clear that this was going to be the record-setting timing for him.

In addition to the $1,500 prize, Shields will likely get a bonus from his suit sponsor Arena for breaking an American Record, and the 959 FINA point swim will put him in very good position to earn bonus “top performance” points for this meet that overall has been fairly slow. That could translate to a huge cluster prize after the Dubai meet this weekend.

The comparative splits between this record and Shields’ old record:

Old American Record: 24.80 / 28.60 / 28.64 / 28.57 = 1:50.61
New American Record: 24.12 / 27.46 / 28.39 / 30.11 = 1:50.08

Though one could rightfully say that Shields crashed on the final 50, he went out so much faster that it didn’t matter. The splits weren’t as pretty as his swim at Duel in the Pool, but they more-than-got the job done.

That swim puts Shields 5th on the all-time list around the world. The second-fastest ever in this race is a 1:51.90 from Davis Tarwater in 2011. Chad le Clos’ World Record is still a ways off – he swam a 1:48.56 at the World Cup last year.

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6 years ago

[Hands up] *Show me the money*

6 years ago

Out in 51.5?!?! Dang…
Michael Phelps – you should own this record. It’s not too late!

6 years ago

*claps* Way to go, Shields! 😀

Justin Thompson
6 years ago

Great short course swimmer!

6 years ago

BeIN sport televised the meet in the us on delay. What a 1st half by shields well ahead of the WR lost it in the last 25 meters !

6 years ago

Now that’s what I call “staking your claim”. Brilliant swim. Stop thinking about Phelps and go after King Chad. The two of you will set the event alight over the next two years.

elizabeth k
6 years ago

That’s my cousin!!! 🙂 Way to go, Tom <3

6 years ago

great swim by shields, even though he totally died in the last 25 m.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder 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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