German-born Syrian Rafed El-Masri is set to race for Germany at the Olympic Games in Beijing after FINA gave the go ahead for him to switch nationalities after having represented his country of origin at Athens 2004 and the World Championships in 2005 and 2007.
The German swimming federation (DSV - Deutsche Schwimm-Verband) will nominate the sprinter when it meets the German Olympic Committee on July 15. Lars Conrad will also be nominated as an addition to the team, while junior Nina Schiffer may be off to her first Olympic Games if she races inside qualification target at the World Youth Championships in Monterrey, Mexico from July 8 to 13, in the 200m butterfly and 400m medley.
El-Masri, 25 and born in Clausthal-Zellerfeld finished second in the 50m free at German trials behind Steffen Deibler after clocking the German record twice. In June he swam 22.11 in Monte Carlo. El-Masri is training partner of former world record holder Britta Steffen at SG Neukölln in Berlin.