Tom Shields. Courtesy USA Swimming
Tom Shields. Courtesy USA Swimming

Olympic gold medalist Tom Shields of Huntington Beach set an American record and won his fifth medal in the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) Friday in Windsor, Ontario.

Shields set an American record when he swam the men’s 50-meter butterfly in 22.38 seconds, the fastest semifinal time. The American record was Shields’ second in eight days. He set the American record in the men’s 100-yard butterfly last Friday in the AT&T Winter Nationals in Atlanta.

Shields won a silver medal for swimming the anchor leg on the men’s 200- meter freestyle relay team. The U.S. was in fifth when Shields began his leg. His 20.58 split was the fastest among the 32 swimmers in the race.

The U.S. was timed in 1:24.47. Russia won in 1:24.32.

Shields is set to swim in the final of the men’s 50-meter butterfly Saturday.

Shields swam the opening leg on the gold medal-winning 200-meter mixed medley relay team and won a silver medal in the men’s 100-meter butterfly on Thursday

Shields won a silver medal in the men’s 200-meter butterfly and was part of the U.S. team that won a bronze medal in the men’s 400-meter freestyle relay, finishing in a dead heat with Australia on Tuesday, the opening day of the six-day meet.

The meet is being conducted in a 25-meter pool, half the length of the pools used in the Olympics, at the WFCU Centre, usually the home of the Windsor Spitfires junior hockey team.

The 25-year-old Shields is among five co-captains on the 35-member U.S. team and the oldest man on the team.

Shields won a gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics for swimming in the preliminaries in the 400-meter medley relay. He finished seventh in his lone individual event, the 100-meter butterfly.

Shields swims 7,000 meters — 4.3 miles — a day, six days a week during training. He began swimming when he was 8 years old in an effort to be safe in pools.

Shields graduated from Edison High School in Huntington Beach in 2009, the year he was selected as the National High School Swimmer of the Year. Shields swam four years for California, winning six NCAA individual championships and one in a relay.

–City News Service

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