American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued from the bottom of a pool by her coach, Spaniard Andrea Fuentes, after fainting during the world championships on Wednesday.
It was Fuentes who realized that the 25-year-old athlete had unexpectedly collapsed after completing the Women’s free solo artistic swimming final at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Seeing what was happening and what he considered an unnecessary delay of the rescuersFuentes jumped into the water and pulled Alvarez to the surface herself. While still in the water, a lifeguard jumped to her support.
Shortly after, the United States swim team issued a statement shortly after in which Fuentes assured that Anita Álvarez “Now it feels good.”
However, it is not the first time that the swimmer has been the victim of a similar episode, in 2021 Álvarez fainted after a test in an Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona.
On that occasion it was also Andrea Fuentes who jumped into the water to help him.
This Thursday, the swimmer has stayed at the concentration hotel resting after all the medical tests that were carried out on her yielded satisfactory results.
The idea is that she can participate this Friday in the free team final together with her teammates.
“It is not such a demanding routine for her”, although “we will all have to make the decision, she does not want to leave the World Cup with the image of Wednesday”, said Fuentes.
The lifeguards speak out about the fainting of Anita Álvarez
After the surprise and criticism generated by the attitude of the lifeguards, who were slow to jump into the pool, the organizing committee explained that they cannot jump into the pool if the judges do not give their consent first.
“The extremely strict rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) determine when lifeguards can intervene,” says a statement referred to by the Spanish press.
These rules indicate that only the judges can give the order to jump into the pool to help a competitor. They hold that the protocol is like this to avoid any misunderstanding on the part of the lifeguards.
The statement made it clear that “on Wednesday no signal was received from the judges,” but the lifeguard, who was at that time in the farthest part of the pool from where Álvarez was, decided to jump when Andrea Fuentes came to him. have done.
“After the coach jumped into the pool at his own risk, the local lifeguards, perceiving the danger, no longer waited for the judicial signal, but decided to intervene immediately”the statement said.
FINA has launched an investigation to assess how similar cases can be prevented.
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