At the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted and was miraculously pulled from the bottom of the pool by her coach. After finishing her routine during Wednesday night’s solo free final, Team USA’s Alvarez sank to the bottom of the pool and was not breathing. Andrea Fuentes jumped in to save her. “I was really scared. Fuentes was quoted by the Spanish newspaper Marca as saying, “I had to go in because the lifeguards weren’t doing anything. Fuentes, who was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, dove to the pool’s floor and pulled Alvarez to the surface with help. They then helped the injured swimmer to the pool’s edge. “I was terrified when I noticed she wasn’t breathing,
Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medallist, told Spanish radio that Alvarez had fainted due to the effort expended during the 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.
Alvarez was taken on a stretcher to the pool’s medical centre, with teammates and fans appearing to be in shock poolside.The U.S. swim team later released a statement saying that Alvarez was doing well.
“She wasn’t breathing … I went as quickly as I could, as if it were an Olympic final.”Fuentes said Alvarez planned to rest Thursday and was still hoping to compete in Friday’s team event after further medical checks.The 25-year-old Alvarez was in her third World Championships. She also reportedly fainted during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona last year.
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