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US coach makes dramatic rescue of artistic swimmer at worlds

Hungary Swimming Worlds
Posted at 9:51 AM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 14:47:19-04

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Andrea Fuentes prevented a tragedy at the swimming world championships with her quick reaction.

The United States coach knew something was wrong when she saw artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez sink motionless to the bottom of the pool during a solo free routine on Wednesday.

The fully clothed Fuentes dived in.

She swam to the unresponsive Alvarez, put her arms around her, and lifted her to the water’s surface. Another person helped get her out of the pool.

Alvarez, a two-time Olympian, had fainted. She was treated by medical staff is is now feeling much better, according to USA Artistic Swimming.

"Anita has been evaluated by medical staff and will continue to be monitored," the organization said in a statement.

Prior to fainting, Alvarez had already competed in seven events at the championships. Those competitions took place over a span of six days.

She is scheduled to participate in the Team Final on Friday. However, it's unclear whether she will be well enough to swim. USA Artistic Swimming said Alvarez and medical staff will determine whether she can compete.