THE heroic coach who saved American synchronised swimmer Anita Alvarez has said she is sure she will continue to compete at the World Championships following her dramatic pool rescue.
Spaniard Andrea Fuentes, who won four Olympic and 16 World Championship medals before retiring from the sport herself, jumped into the water yesterday to pull Alvarez out after she fainted.
The 25-year-old had been competing in the final of the women’s solo free event in Budapest when she came within seconds of death.
The incredible moment Andrea leapt into the pool and dragged her back to safety was captured in video footage.
The US coach, who was critical of lifeguards after the near-tragedy, had said overnight a decision on whether she could swim free team finals tomorrow would be taken in conjunction with doctors.
But today the 39-year-old mum-of-one, the most decorated swimmer in the history of the Spanish national team, said Anita was determined not to abandon the World Championships.
She told Spanish daily El Mundo: “She doesn’t want to leave here with the photo of her unconscious at the bottom of the pool.
“In any case in the team events Anita does a lot of pirouettes and very few apneas so she will almost certainly compete.”
Her upbeat message was delivered hours after she posted on Instagram: “Anita is ok and the doctors also said she is fine.
“We all know it happens in other sports: cycling, marathon, track and field…
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“Some don’t make it to the final line and some even finish crawling or passing out. Our sport is very hard too.”
Last year Anita fainted during an Olympics qualifying even in Barcelona, with Andrea also rescuing her.
The synchronised swimmer’s mum Karen said at the time: “Unfortunately I’ve seen it happen to her before – never in competition, though.”
Source: The Sun