American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez terrified the world of swimming at the World Championships in Budapest.
In the middle of the competition, the 25-year-old top athlete fainted and sank to the bottom of the pool.
The incident happened when he was finishing the finals alone.
Alvarez’s coach, Andrea Fuentes, reacted within seconds, jumping into the pool to bring the swimmer to safety.
“It was a big shock,” Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medalist, said, according to Spanish newspaper Marca.
“I was scared because I saw that he was not breathing, but now he is very well.”
“He only had water in his lungs. When he started breathing again, everything was fine.”
And he said on the Spanish radio. “It seemed like an hour. I immediately saw something was wrong. I shouted at the lifeguards to get into the water, but they didn’t seem to understand me.”
“He wasn’t breathing. I’m going as fast as I can, it’s almost like an Olympic final.”
Alvarez received medical attention at the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.
In a statement posted on the USA Artistic Swimming Instagram page, Fuentes said Alvarez will be evaluated by doctors on Thursday before a decision is made on his participation in Friday’s team competition.
Fuentes said. “Anita is fine. the doctors checked everything and everything is normal – heart rate, oxygen level, sugar level, blood pressure, etc… everything is fine.”
“We sometimes forget that this kind of thing happens in other high-profile sports as well.”
“Marathon, cycling, skiing… we’ve all seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them get there.”
“Our sport is no different from any other, except that in the pool we push and sometimes find our limits.”
“Anita is now feeling well and the doctors confirm it.”
“Tomorrow he will rest all day, and then he will decide with the doctor whether he can swim in the final team or not. Thanks Anita for all the well wishes.”
Alvarez, who finished seventh in the final, passed out after practice for the Olympic qualifier in Barcelona last year.
Even then, he was saved by his coach, Fuentes.