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Coach rescues unconscious swimmer at World Champs

An American artistic swimmer had to be rescued by her coach after she lost consciousness in the pool mid-routine.

Anita Alvarez was performing in the solo free final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest when she sunk to the bottom of the pool.

Watching poolside, coach Andrea Fuentes quickly realised something was amiss and jumped in the pool to save Alvarez.

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Fuentes was so quick into the water she even beat the lifeguard.

“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,” she told Spanish publication MARCA.

“I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well.”

Anita Alvarez of USA receives medical attention after losing consciousness during her solo free final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest. Photo: Nikola Krstic

“Anita is okay. The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure … all is okay.

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“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. Marathons, 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.

Anita Alvarez of the USA is attended to by medical staff following her Women's Solo Free Final performance on day six of the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships. Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos

“Our sport is no different than others, (it’s) just in a pool. We push through limits and sometimes we find them. Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay.

“Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita.”

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