American swimmer Anita Alvarez faints underwater at World Championships, saved by her coach

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American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez passed out underwater on Wednesday at the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest and was rescued by her coach. (See pictures below.)

Alvarez was performing her routine in the solo freestyle final when she lost consciousness and sank to the bottom of the pool, TNZT Sports reported.

USA coach Andrea Fuentes told Spanish outlet MARCA that she noticed her athlete was not breathing and when rescuers failed to respond, she stepped in to save her.

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Fuentes called it a “big scare” but wrote on Instagram that Alvarez was “okay”.

The photos captured the terrifying sequence:

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: OLI SCARFF via Getty Images)

(Photo: Nikola Krstic/MB Media via Getty Images)

(Photo: Nikola Krstic/MB Media via Getty Images)

(Photo: Nikola Krstic/MB Media via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

(Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images)

Alvarez immediately received medical attention, Yahoo reported.

Fuentes estimated that Alvarez didn’t breathe for at least two minutes “because his lungs were filled with water.”

“Our sport is no different than any other, just in a pool we push the limits and sometimes we find them,” Fuentes wrote on the USA Artistic Swimming (formerly Synchronized Swimming) Instagram page early Thursday.

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Fuentes performed a similar save on Alvarez during an Olympic qualifying event in Spain last year – and Alvarez has had at least one case of fainting before, but not in competition.

Alvarez, 25, a Rio 2016 Olympian competing in her third world championships, recovered and hoped to compete in the team free event on Friday. But his status was not yet determined.

Alvarez “will decide with the doctor whether or not she can swim the free team finals,” Fuentes added.

This article originally appeared on The New Zealand Times and has been updated.

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