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.