ATHENS, Georgia, December 1. CONFIRMING a report first made several months ago by SwimInfo's European correspondent, Oene Rusticus, current University of Georgia freshman Sarah Poewe — who has represented South Africa throughout her career — will now swim for Germany.
FINA has officially okayed the nationality switch, effective with next weekend's VI European Short Course Championships in Riesa. Poewe, 19, represented South Africa for one last time at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester last summer, winning silver medals in the 50 and 200 breaststrokes, and a bronze in the 100.
She has adapted well to swimming in yards pools so far this young season for Coach Jack Bauerle's Lady Bulldogs, and hopes eventually to match the success of another Georgia woman breaststroker, Kristy Kowal, who won the silver at Sydney in the 200 and is a former NCAA champion and American record-holder in the 100-200 yard breaststrokes.
While Poewe cannot hold American records because of her German citizenship, she can set U.S. Open standards (fastest time ever swum in America) and is hopeful of making an impact at next March's NCAA Championships at Auburn — home of the defending champs.