Tom Shields Breaks American Record at Doha World Cup

Tom Shields, in his own admission, is not at the point yet where he can count on having a big swim when it counts the most.

He is, however, very much at the point where he can pop-off a very special swim on any given day, and drop all of our jaws.

That’s what he’s done at the FINA World Cup stop in Doha. In one of his last swims of the second cluster, Shields put in a 48.80 in the 100 SCM butterfly, which broke his own 49.01 set in the Berlin World Cup stop in early August.

Prior to that swim, Ian Crocker owned the Record in 49.07.

The result could be an even bigger financial windfall for Shields. We’re still awaiting the completion of the Doha session, but that swim earned 980 FINA World Cup points, which may be enough to bump him into 2nd in the Cluster standings and bump his cluster prize from $10,000 to $20,000.

Thinking bigger-picture, however, this is the second time in the 2013 World Cup that he’s beaten Chad le Clos head-to-head in this race out of five tries. Le Clos is the defending World Champion in the event in both short course and long course, and so these are the types of swims that can really be great for Shields’ confidence in addition to his pocket-book.

The World Record, set by Russia’s Evgeney Korotyshkin, is still an arm’s length away at 48.48.

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10 years ago

i knew This guy would come up with great races this year . After what he showed last year in Istambul at SCWC , it’s fantastic to see what he does now . Rock on Tom

Joel Lin
10 years ago

Book some Rio16 medals too. The naysayers — if Shields has any remaining — simply are not watching what he is doing. Yes, his turns and underwaters are downright nasty and that is less of a play in a 50 meter pool. But look at the structure of his races in the recent weeks. He is making as great a mark and gaining as much separation from the field above the water. His finishing speed in fly above water in the last 12 meters or so is fabulous. He is a 50 point 100 meter long course man for absolute certain. Bravo Tom, you are on the way to some great things in the next two years and change.

10 years ago

Wow. Never ceases to amaze, no matter how many times you’ve seen him do his thing. Also, so impressed with his interviews. If you knew him at 18, you would be blown away too at what a guy he has become. Rio16. Book it

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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