U.S. Olympian, gold medalist, and NCAA Champion Tom Shields swam a lifetime best in the 200 yard fly in an exhibition race during the Cal – UCSD dual meet on Friday evening
Shields swam a 1:38.80 in an exhibition race. That improves his old lifetime best of 1:39.65 that he did at the 2013 NCAA Championships. At the time, he tied Michael Phelps‘ 2010 swim as the fastest 200 yard fly in history.
In the almost-7 years since that swim, Shields’ swim slipped to the 19th-best performance in history. After Friday’s swim, however, he is now back to the 6th-best performance, and 4th-best performer, in history.
Shields’ last 200 yard fly came in 2017, where at the U.S. College Challenge he swam 1:41.59. This is his 3rd 200 yard fly since graduating college. His is the fastest time (all ages) in the country this season, half-a-second ahead of Sam Pomajevich’s 1:39.35 from the Minnesota Invite.
The 28-year old Shields has had an emotional year, posting on social media in December that he had attempted suicide a year earlier.
In long course in the summer of 2019, he swam 1:56.12 in the 200 fly. His best time is a 1:55.09 from 2014.