Dramatic moment: Coach saves US swimmer from drowning at world championships

Fuentes jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine



Anita Alvarez is rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach at the Budapest World Aquatics Championships. (AFP)
Anita Alvarez is rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach at the Budapest World Aquatics Championships. (AFP)

By Reuters

Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 1:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 10:20 PM

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was in danger of drowning after losing consciousness in the pool at the world championships in Budapest on Wednesday before being rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes.

Spaniard Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medallist in synchronised swimming, jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine.

Members of Team USA help Anita Alvarez after she was rescued from the bottom of the pool. (AFP)
Members of Team USA help Anita Alvarez after she was rescued from the bottom of the pool. (AFP)

She was given medical attention beside the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.

It was the second time Fuentes has had to rescue Alvarez after she leapt into the pool during an Olympic qualification event last year and pulled her to safety along with the American’s swim partner Lindi Schroeder.

Anita Alvarez is taken on a stretcher from the pool. (AP)
Anita Alvarez is taken on a stretcher from the pool. (AP)

“Anita is much better, she is already at her best. It was a good scare, to be honest,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca on Wednesday.

“I jumped into the water again because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was jumping in. I got a little scared because she wasn’t breathing, but now she’s fine. She has to rest.”

Anita Alvarez competes before collapsing in the solo free final of the artistic swimming at the World Championships. (AP)
Anita Alvarez competes before collapsing in the solo free final of the artistic swimming at the World Championships. (AP)

In a statement on the US Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said 25-year-old Alvarez would be assessed by doctors on Thursday before a decision was made on her participation in Friday’s team event.


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