In Pics: US Swimmer’s Dramatic Rescue From Bottom Of Pool

Anita Alvarez was competing in the women’s solo free finals when she fainted and sunk to the bottom.

New Delhi:

USA swimmer Anita Alvarez had to be rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach Andrea Fuentes on Wednesday after she fainted during the solo free final at the 2022 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

After completing her routine, artistic swimmer Alvarez sunk to the bottom of the pool in an unconscious state. The 25-year-old’s coach Fuentes, without skipping a beat, jumped into the pool and managed to pull her to the top before bringing her to the edge of the pool to get immediate medical attention.

Alvarez, still looking visibly unconscious, was put on a stretcher and taken to the medical center at the swimming arena amid stunned spectators.

“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,” Fuentes was reported as saying by Spanish newspaper Marca, as quoted by AFP.

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Andrea Fuentes jumping into the pool to rescue an unconscious Anita Alvares.

“I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well,” Fuentes added.

Four-time Olympic medalist Fuentes told Spanish radio that the reason why Alvarez fainted was because of the effort exerted during her routine.

“She only had water in her lungs, once she started breathing again everything was OK,” said Fuentes.

“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.

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Fuentes managed to pull Alvarez to the top of the pool and get her immediate medical help.

“She wasn’t breathing … I went as quickly as I could, as if it were an Olympic final,” Fuentes added.

The 2021 USA Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year Alvarez was in the hunt for a medal in her third world championships. However, she failed to reach the podium after finishing seventh. The gold medal went to Japan’s Yukiko Inui while Ukraine’s Marta Fiedina and Greece’s Evangelia Platanioti earned silver and bronze respectively.

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