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An American swimmer had to be rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach after fainting at the World Aquatics Championships.
Anita Alvarez finished her routine in the artistic solo free final in Budapest when she lost consciousness and began sinking. The 25-year-old’s coach, the four-time Olympic medallist Andrea Fuentes, dived in and carried her back to the surface.
This was the second occasion Alvarez had fainted following a routine, after a similar occured during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona last year where Fuetes again came to the rescue.
“Anita is OK,” Fuentes said. “The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, all is OK.
“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports like 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.”
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Fuentes said she intervened because “the lifeguards weren’t doing it”. She added: “It was a big scare.”
Alvarez placed seventh in the free solo final.