Shields Pulls Off Prelims Double
TOKYO – California alumnus and post-graduate swimmer Tom Shields (USA) made a splash in his first day of action at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after waiting nearly a week for his turn. The 2016 Rio gold medalist pulled off a double in preliminaries Thursday, first advancing to the 100-meter butterfly semifinals before swimming the fly leg on the USA mixed 4x100 medley relay to help the Americans move onto the final.
With roughly 20 minutes in between the two events, Shields touched the wall in 51.87 and tied for 12th in the 100 fly qualifying before clocking a 50.87 fly split on the third leg of the Americans' 3:41.02 runner-up finish in the mixed 4x100 medley relay heats.
Shields is not guaranteed to swim on the USA lineup in the mixed 4x100 medley relay final on Friday night (PT) but is medal-eligible if the Americans finish inside the top three.
Fellow Golden Bear Zheng Quah (Singapore) placed 34th in the 100 fly heats with a 52.39 finish Thursday, concluding his individual schedule in Tokyo. Quah also competed in the 100 back and 200 fly events, but did not advance past prelims.
Three Bears will swim in session 12 of Olympic pool competition Thursday night, starting with Shields as he seeks a 100 fly finals berth at 6:35 p.m. PT. Focus then shifts to Bryce Mefford (USA) and Ryan Murphy (USA) in the 200m backstroke final at 6:50 p.m. PT. Murphy is the reigning Olympic champion and seeded third in the final; Mefford is the sixth seed.
100-Meter Butterfly Heats
T12. Tom Shields (51.57) – advanced
34. Zheng Quah (52.39)
4x100-Meter Mixed Medley Relay Heats
2. USA (Tom Shields), 3:41.02 (50.87 fly split) – advanced
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