SWIMMING Andrea Fuentes talks about how she responded to swimmer Anita Alvarez's discomfort

Worlds of swimming: Anita Alvarez « wasn't breathing, but now she's fine », says her coach

Anita Alvarez, taken care of by the emergency services. — Anna Szilagyi/AP/SIPA

Magic then dread: American swimmer Anita Alvarez fell ill on Wednesday in the pool at the Alfred-Hajos complex in Budapest, moments after finishing her performance in the free solo synchronized swimming final. Unconscious, she sank. to the bottom of the pool.

Facing the immobility of the rescuers, « flabbergasted », Andrea Fuentes, former swimmer and now coach, dived fully dressed. “ I had the fastest freediving of my life, faster than when I was training for the Olympics,” the quadruple Olympic medalist at the microphone of the Cadena Ser.

À the strength of his arms, Fuentes brought back Alvarez àgrave; the surface and tried to make her breathe. A rescuer finally dived. a few seconds after her. “ I was scared because I saw that she was not breathing, but now she is fine » the Spaniard. “ She only had water in her lungs when she started again. to breathe, everything was fine ».

And the rescuers?

“ The rules according to which rescuers can intervene are very strict, » in a press release Bela Merkely, responsible for the medical service of the championships. In such a situation, only the judges of the International Federation can decide to interrupt the competition for an intervention, but « no signal was received. performed in this sense ».

“ After the coach jumps in the swimming pool ` at his own risk, the local rescuers, sensing the danger, no longer waited for the judge’s signal, but decided to stop. to intervene immediately » Bela Merkely. Once out of the pool, Alvarez « was immediately supported by a medical team » has confirmed the International Swimming Federation.

Swimming Worlds: Anita Alvarez « wasn't breathing, but now she's fine », says her coach

Andrea Fuentes bringing Anita Alvarez back to; the surface. – Oli SCARFF/AFP

“ She went too far »

The American Artistic Swimming Federation spoke Thursday in a press release. and mentioned a community sports « upset » by this incident. “ Anita has been examined by medical staff and is always monitored. She is feeling much better but is resting today, » the Federation.

“ Doctors checked his vital signs and everything is normal (…). Everything is fine, » his coach in an Instagram post. If the swimmer comes out unscathed, this kind of incident is not a first for her. “ It happened once last year, during the Olympic qualifying tournament (…). Before that, she had had sporadic problems with fainting, but never in competition » the Federation.

And for Fuentes, it’s one time too many: « We were terrified, even though it’s not been the first time it’s happened. She’s an athlete who likes to seek her limits, but this time she went too far. I told him not to do it anymore. » The continuation of the competition is therefore uncertain for Alvarez without the agreement of his doctors. He only has one test left. play: the team free final scheduled for Friday.