Coach dives in to save US swimmer Anita Alvarez who fainted in pool at World Championships


American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued by her coach, Andrea Fuentes, after she fainted in the pool

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach after she fainted at the World Aquatics Championships.

The 25-year-old was not breathing and had sunk after completing her routine in the solo free final in Budapest, according to a BBC report.

Her coach, four-time Olympic medallist Andrea Fuentes, pulled Alvarez to the surface before she was taken away on a stretcher.

Spanish newspaper Marca reported Fuentes as saying she had jumped in "because the lifeguards weren't doing it".

And speaking to Spanish radio, she said: "It felt like a whole hour. I said things weren't right, I was shouting at the lifeguards to get into the water, but they didn't catch what I said or they didn't understand.

"She wasn't breathing. I went as quickly as I could, as if it were an Olympic final."

The US swim team later released a statement from Fuentes saying Alvarez "feels good now".

Fuentes said: "Anita is OK - the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal - [her] heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure etc. All is OK.

"We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports such as marathon, cycling, cross country. We all have seen images where some athletes don't make it to the finish line and others help them to get there.

"Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them.

"Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is OK. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not."

Alvarez scored 87.6333 points for her routine, finishing seventh in the final.

Alvarez, who competed at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, received medical attention beside the pool, Reuters reported, and was subsequently carried off in a stretcher.

It was the second time Fuentes has had to rescue Alvarez, according to Reuters, after she leapt into the pool during an Olympic qualification event last year and pulled her to safety, along with the American's swim partner Lindi Schroeder.

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