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Anita Alvarez saved from drowning by coach during world championships

/ 04:28 PM June 23, 2022
A member of Team USA (R) recovers USA's Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool during an incendent in the women's solo free artistic swimming finals, during the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships at the Alfred Hajos Swimming Complex in Budapest on June 22, 2022.

A member of Team USA (R) recovers USA’s Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool during an incendent in the women’s solo free artistic swimming finals, during the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships at the Alfred Hajos Swimming Complex in Budapest on June 22, 2022. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

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 medalist in synchronized swimming, jumped into the pool after she saw Alvarez sink to the bottom at the end of her solo free final routine.

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

Anita Alvarez of the U.S. receives medical attention during the women's solo free final

Artistic Swimming – FINA World Championships – Alfred Hajos Swimming Complex, Budapest, Hungary – June 22, 2022 Anita Alvarez of the U.S. receives medical attention during the women’s solo free final REUTERS/Lisa Leutner

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.

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“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.”

In a statement on the U.S. 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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