The coach realized something was wrong when she saw artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez suddenly sink to the bottom of the pool during her free skate on Wednesday.

I shouted to the lifeguards to get in the water, but they didn’t hear what I said or they didn’t understandFuentes told the Spanish newspaper brand a few hours after the incident.

Alvarez has competed in the Olympics twice.

Photo: afp via getty images / ATTILA KISBENEDEK

Alvarez, 25, collapsed in the pool at the Alfred-Hajos swimming complex in Budapest, moments after finishing his performance in the free solo synchronized swimming final. Unconscious, she sank to the bottom of the pool.

Faced with the inertia of the assembly and the immobility of the rescuers whom she describes as flabbergastedthe quadruple Spanish Olympic medalist did not hesitate for a moment: fully dressed, she dove into the pool.

More fear than harm

Alvarez, who was immediately taken care of by doctors, was doing well on Thursday.

I was scared because I saw that she wasn’t breathing, but now she’s finereassured Fuentes. She only had water in her lungs, when she started breathing again, everything was fine.

We forget that this kind of incident also happens in other sports. Marathon, cycling, obstacle course. We’ve all seen images of athletes failing to make it to the finish line, only to be helped by their colleagues. Our sport is identical to the others, except that it takes place in a swimming pool. We push our limits, and sometimes we find them. »

A quote from Andrea Fuentes

Alvarez finished 7th in the individual final.

As to whether she will swim in the team free program on Friday… That will be up to Anita and the medical staff to decide.said the American Swimming Federation.

What explains the reaction time of rescuers?

Why didn’t the lifeguards intervene before the trainer?

The rules under which lifeguards can intervene are very strictunderlined 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. Gold no signal has been made in this regardcontinued the doctor.

Anita Alvarez collapsed in the pool at the FINA Worlds on Wednesday.

Photo: afp via getty images / OLI SCARFF

After the trainer jumped into the pool at her own risk, the local lifeguards, sensing the danger, no longer waited for the judge’s signal, but decided to intervene immediately, so that the American competitor was finally out of the pool with their helpMerkely added.

Once out of the pool, Alvarez was immediately taken care of by a medical team confirmed FINA, in contact with the convalescent swimmer.

The American federation spoke in a press release on Thursday and referred to a sports community upset by this incident.

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 [à Barcelone NDLR]. Before that, she had sporadic problems with fainting, but never in competitionsaid the American organization.

And for Fuentes, it’s one time too many: We were terrified, even if it’s not the first time it’s happened. She is an athlete who likes to seek her limits, but this time she went too far. I told him not to do it anymore.

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