Tom Shields Breaks Own American Record in 200 Butterfly; Finishes Just Behind Le Clos in ISL Final

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Photo Courtesy: Mine Kasapoglu / ISL

Tom Shields continues to get faster throughout this International Swimming League (ISL) 2020 season.

The LA Current swimmer broke the American record in the 200-meter butterfly (SCM) on Sunday during the ISL final.

Shields is the third-fastest performer in history at 1:48.66, crushing his own mark set just a few days ago at 1:40.02.

Shields finished second in the event, just nine hundredths of a second behind Energy Standard’s Chad le Clos.

Le Clos won in 1:48.57.

“That was a great race. It could have gone either way,” le Clos said in the post-race interview. “I was very lucky to get him. I never would have gone that fast without him in the race.”

Tom Shields and le Clos were neck-and-neck nearly the entire race as both swimmers continue to get faster throughout the ISL season in the Budapest bubble. Le Clos made enough of a late move to push past Shields.

Prior to this week, Tom Shields’ best was 1:49.05 that he swam at the 2015 Duel in the Pool. Shields has endured a tumultuous time in his personal life since then, including a public battle with mental health, but he’s persevered to return to setting personal-bests.

Both le Clos and Shields broke the ISL record of 1:48.77 set by Daiya Seto of Energy Standard.

Third went to Cali’s Eddie Wang (1:50.77) as Energy closed two points on the Condors.

Seto still holds the world record at 1:48.24 from 2018, though le Clos and Shields are getting remarkably closer.

Heading into Tokyo 2021, it looks good for American Tom Shields as he continues to get faster heading into an Olympic year, especially in the 200 butterfly.

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