Tom Shields Takes Out His Five-Year-Old 200 Fly American Record In 1:49.02


LA Current swimmer Tom Shields continued to tear up the pool in Budapest early on in the second day of the ISL’s second semi-final, breaking his five-year-old American Record in the 200 butterfly.

Shields, 29, used a blistering front-half to finish in a time of 1:49.02, sneaking under his previous record of 1:49.05 set at the 2015 Duel in the Pool.

The 2016 American Olympian remains the fourth-fastest swimmer in history, and records the 11th-fastest swim of all-time.

All-Time Performers, Men’s 200 Fly (SCM)

Rank Swimmer Time Year
1 Daiya Seto (JPN) 1:48.24 2018
2 Chad Le Clos (RSA) 1:48.32 2018
3 Laszlo Cseh (HUN) 1:49.00 2015
4 Tom Shields (USA) 1:49.02 2020
5 Kaio Almeida (BRA) 1:49.11 2009

Split Comparison

All of the difference for Shields today came on the middle 100, where he was over a second quicker than five years ago.

Shields, 2015 Shields, 2020
24.33 24.65
28.45 (52.78) 27.59 (52.24)
28.28 (1:21.06) 28.02 (1:20.26)
27.99 (1:49.05) 28.76 (1:49.02)

Shields had set his previous season-best of 1:49.78 during Match 10, which ranked as the top time of the ISL season before his performance today. Prior to that, he hadn’t broken 1:50 since October of 2017, with his best swim of the 2019 campaign coming in at 1:50.25.

Finishing second in the race was Cali Condor swimmer Eddie Wang, who broke the world junior record for the third time in the last month in 1:49.89.

A swim of this magnitude was certainly in the offing for Shields after what he did on day one. The Cal grad produced the second-fastest 100 fly split in history on the men’s medley relay (48.14), and also had a strong swim in the individual race (49.01).

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11 months ago

Eddie Wang has tons of time to improve. He is gonna be super fast in the future.

Last edited 11 months ago by Khachaturian
The unoriginal Tim
11 months ago

Awesome swim.

11 months ago

1:49.0 is WAAAAAYYYY better that 2:07!

Reply to  snarky
11 months ago

I did the math. It checks out.

IU Swammer
11 months ago

His ISL performance has turned me into a Tom Shields fan.

11 months ago

Bodes well for the 100 fly LCM

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  DLswim
11 months ago

Agreed. Normally the piano only has come in the 2 Fly. Maybe he can lick the piano too in the coming year.

6-Beat Kick
11 months ago

I’ll be rooting for Shields this coming year. In my years of being around swimming, he has some of the best underwaters I’ve seen in my life. Yes, at times even better than the GOAT (check out 100 fly at 2016 trials for a side by side comparison).

11 months ago

I’m so happy to see Tom Shields succeeding. It feels like people have underestimated his capabilities for years. He’s such a stand-up guy. I had the honor of meeting him at a swim clinic a few years ago and got to have a conversation with him. He was so respectful and kind. I still have his autograph on my swim bag and I relish all of his swims. I’m glad that more people are seeing now how hard Tom works and I’m glad the results are showing

Last edited 11 months ago by hzmusicswim

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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