BUDAPEST | The coach of the USA artistic and synchronized swimming team dove into the pool on Wednesday to save one of her sinking swimmers after she passed out during the World Championships in Budapest.
< p>Anita Alvarez was not breathing after her performance in the free solo synchronized swimming final, and sank to the bottom of the pool. Andrea Fuentes then jumped into the water to rescue her.
“We were very scared. I had to jump because the rescuers didn't,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca.
Fuentes, wearing shorts and a T-shirt, descended to the bottom of the pool and lifted Alvarez to the surface before receiving help to carry the distressed swimmer to the edge of the pool.
“I was scared because I saw that she wasn't breathing, but now she's fine,” reassured Fuentes.
A stretcher took Alvarez to the swimming pool medical center , leaving teammates and spectators in shock.
The US swim team released a reassuring statement about Alvarez's health.
Quadruple Olympic medalist, Fuentes explained to a Spanish radio that his swimmer had become unwell due to the effort exerted during her performance.
“She only had water in her lungs, a Once she started breathing again, everything was fine,” she added. “I felt like it was a whole hour. I said things were wrong, I shouted to the rescuers to get in the water, but they didn't hear what I said or they didn't understand”.
“She was not breathing (…) I went as fast as I could, as if it were for an Olympic final”, she also told.
< p>According to his coach, Alvarez planned to rest on Thursday and still hoped to compete in the team event on Friday, after medical examinations.
At 25, Alvarez is competing in his third World Championships. She had already lost consciousness several times during the qualifying events at the Olympics, last year in Barcelona.