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Friday, July 1, 2022

American swimmer passes out during world competition; the coach dives to rescue her

(CNN) – American swimmer Anita Alvarez has been rescued from the bottom of a pool by her coach after she collapsed during competition at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Reuters reported.

Coach Andrea Fuentes jumped into the pool after she saw the 25-year-old artistic swimmer sink to the bottom at the end of her performance in the women’s free skate on Wednesday.

Fuentes lifted Alvarez to the surface while another US swimmer helped carry her to the edge of the pool.

Alvarez, who competed in synchronized swimming at the 2016 and 2020 Olympics, received medical treatment by the pool before being carried away on a stretcher, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, this was the second time Fuentes had to rescue Alvarez. The athlete also lost consciousness during the performance of duets at the Olympic qualification last year.

Speaking to Spanish broadcaster Cadena COPE in a radio interview, Fuentes said rescuers didn’t respond quickly enough on Wednesday, so she jumped up.

She said: “When a swimmer finishes his program, the first thing he wants to do is breathe, and so I saw that instead of going up, he was going down, and I said to myself: ‘Something is happening,’ and I called lifeguards are like, “Go to the pool, can’t you see she’s drowning in the water?”

“And they didn’t react, so after a couple of seconds I went in as fast as I could.

“I don’t think I swam that fast before, even when I got Olympic medals and, well, in the end, I was able to lift her and she wasn’t breathing… In the end, everything worked out GOOD.”

The International Swimming Federation (FINA) – the sport’s governing body – did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment on the speed of the rescue.

But in a statement to CNN Thursday, FINA said it had been in contact with Alvarez, her team and medical staff after what she called a “medical emergency.”

“RS. The medical team treated Alvarez immediately on the spot and he is in good health,” the statement said.

In a statement on the U.S. Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said Alvarez will rest on Thursday and will consult with her doctor to see if she can compete in the swimming team finals due on Friday, according to FINA.

“Anita is fine – the doctors checked all her vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc. … everything is fine,” Fuentes said in a statement.

“We sometimes forget that this happens in other endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross-country running … we have all seen footage of some athletes not getting to the finish line, while others help them get there, ”Fuentes added. “Our sport is no different, it’s just that in the pool we overcome limitations and sometimes we find them. Now Anita is doing well and the doctors also say that she is fine.”

Alvarez, the 2021 USA Swimming Athlete of the Year, finished seventh. Japan’s Yukiko Inui won gold, while Ukraine’s Marta Fidina and gospel Platanioti from Greece took second and third places.

World Nation News Desk
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