Tom Dean Had COVID Twice in Leadup to Racing Under British 200 Free Record

British swimmer Thomas Dean had COVID twice, he revealed in a post-race interview Sunday. In spite of those challenges, he still swam under the British Record and finishing second to Duncan Scott by .11 seconds.

When asked post-race what his plan was heading into the Olympics, the 20-year old Dean said that “I think just have a block to be honest, leading into summer. After having COVID twice, three weeks out of the pool each time, it’s been pretty brutal coming into trials, with some real disruptions. So, if I can get sort of a block from here to the summer, who knows what might happen.”

It is possible, though not common, to be reinfected with COVID-19 after developing antibodies following an infection.

Dean tells SwimSwam that his first infection came in September, the week before he was supposed to fly out for the International Swimming League season in Budapest (which is why he, and a few other British swimmers, arrived late).

He then contracted a second case, which he describes as “very severe,” over the New Year. He was out of the water for 3 weeks at that time and then had 3 weeks to rebuild his strength.

Dean says that rumors of a 3rd exposure that resulted in isolation are untrue, and that he’s only been out of the water twice.

Dean also swam best times of 3:47.48 in the 400 free for 2nd place and 48.51 for 3rd place in the 100 free.

Dean trains out of the Bath training center under coach Dave McNulty.

Also in the interview:

  • Scott indicates that he’s planning to race at the European Championships in May.
  • Dean says that “Duncan pulled him through” as he skipped from a personal best of 1:46 all the way through to 1:45.
  • Scott points out that it was his first tapered 200 freestyle since August 2019, so he was pleased with the swim.
  • Dean says the swim was better than he ever could have expected.

The full interview can be seen here, starting at the 4:30 mark: