News round-up from Germany
After more than three years of renovation and an amount of 16.6m € spent, the so-called “Schwimmoper” has been reopened in Wuppertal. The symbolic “baptism” was named after Peter Nocke, the nine-time European champion (1974 and 1977) who also got the gold in 1975 in the 4x200m freestyle representing West Germany at the World Championships in Cali, Colombia.
Apart from Peter Nocke, the swimming pool which was built in 1957 with 25-metre lanes had also been for a long time the training venue for German elite swimmers like Folkert Meeuw, the “floating Baron” Olaf von Schilling or Michael Holthaus.
Peter Nocke’s legendary coach Heinz Hoffmann was internationally recognised. The first “tests” for the newly-designed pool will be on November 11-14 of this year for the German Short-Course Championships. There are up to 1,600 seats in the tribune.
Germany‘s swimming world has a new dream couple. The two double FINA World champions from Rome last year, Paul Biedermann and Britta Steffen, confirmed their relationship in the German media. “We came closer at a German Swimming Association training camp in February in Tenerife”, said Paul Biederman with a smile. “Yes, we get along extremely well, but we ask you to respect our privacy”, added Britta Steffen. Already at the Championships in the “eternal city” had the Olympic champion proved herself clairvoyant for Paul Biederman. “She told me before the 200m freestyle race, that she firmly believed that I would beat Michael Phelps. I thank her for this victory”, had Paul Biedermann given on record after his success in Rome.
But the world champion duo is not the only “dream couple” in the German swimming world. In the former GDR for instance, both Olympic champions Roland Matthes and Kornelia Ender were married between 1976 and 1982. Today another couple is also former World champion Antje Buschschulte and 100m backstroke specialist Helge Meeuw.