The swimmer of the American synchronized team Anita Alvarez was rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach, the Spanish Andrea Fuentesafter fainting during the world held in Budapest.
Quadruple Olympic medalist in Beijing and London, Fuentes jumped into the pool to the rescue of his disciple, who was sinking to the bottom and not breathing after finishing her routine during the free solo final.
“It was a good substitute. I had to jump because the lifeguards didn’t do it“, the coach told the Spanish sports newspaper Marca.
Fuentes jumped into the pool in pants and a T-shirt, dove to the bottom and dragged Alvarez to the surface before getting help to pull her out of the water.
The moment in which Andrea Fuentes throws herself into the water to save the life of Anita Alvarez. Photo: Oli SCARFF / AFP.
“I got scared because I saw that he wasn’t breathing, but he’s already very well, full on,” said the Spaniard.
The American swimmer was taken on a stretcher to the medical center set up in the pool amid the shock of her teammates and the public.
The US swim team later reported in a statement that the swimmer was doing well.
The heroine of the day
Fuentes explained to Spanish radio stations that his disciple fainted due to the effort displayed during his routine.
A member of Team USA (R) retrieves Anita Alvarez (L) of USA from the bottom of the pool. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP
“I think she has been at least two minutes without breathing because her lungs were full of water, but we have been able to take her to a good place, she has vomited the water, coughed and that’s it,” he told Rac1 radio.
“I have tried to wake her up by slapping her and opening her jaw,” he added to the Cope station.
Anita Alvarez managed to recover as reported by the American team. Photo: EFE/EPA/Zsolt Szigetvary.
The Spanish coach said that Alvarez will rest on Thursday but that she wanted to participate in the team final on Friday if she passes the medical exams.
Anita Alvarez (L) from the USA, at the bottom of the pool. Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP
This is the third World Cup for the American athlete, who also reportedly fainted during a qualifier for the Olympic Games in Barcelona last year.