New Delhi, June 23: USA swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted during the solo final at the ongoing FINA World Aquatics Championships 2022 in Budapest and was rescued by her coach from the bottom of the pool.
The 25-year-old artistic swimmer, after completing her routine, started sinking to the bottom of the pool in an unconscious state. Her coach Andrea Fuentes jumped into the pool just in time and mananged to pull her up and got her immediate medical attention.
The entire incident of the Anita Alavrez's dramatic rescue by her coach Fuentes was captured by AFP photographers and the news agency shared the images.
After being pulled out of the water Alvarez, who still looking visibly unconscious, was put on a stretcher and taken to the medical center at the swimming arena. The spectators present at the venue were left stunned.
"It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren't doing it," Fuentes was reported as saying by Spanish newspaper Marca, as quoted by AFP.
"I was scared because I saw she wasn't breathing, but now she is doing very well," Fuentes added.
Rapid rescue.@AFP photographers Oli Scarff and Peter Kohalmi capture the dramatic rescue of USA's Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool when she fainted during the women's solo free artistic swimming finals at the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships pic.twitter.com/8Y0wo6lSUn— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 23, 2022
Fuentes - who is a four-time Olympic medalist - told Spanish radio that the reason why Alvarez fainted was because of the effort exerted during her routine.
"She only had water in her lungs, once she started breathing again everything was OK," said Fuentes.
"It felt like a whole hour. I said things weren't right, I was shouting at the lifeguards to get into the water, but they didn't catch what I said or they didn't understand.
"She wasn't breathing ... I went as quickly as I could, as if it were an Olympic final," Fuentes added.
Alvarez - who is the 2021 USA Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year - was in the hunt for a medal in her third world championships. She, however, failed to finish the podium and finished seventh. Japan's Yukiko Inui won the gold medal while Ukraine's Marta Fiedina and Greece's Evangelia Platanioti bagged silver and bronze respectively.