A scary moment occurred Wednesday at the 2022 FINA World Championships, as Team USA swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted during the solo free final. Alvarez sank to the bottom of the pool before her coach, Andrea Fuentes, jumped in to rescue her.
“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it. I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well.” Fuentes said in an interview with MARCA. This quote has been translated from an original interview in Spanish.
Alvarez received immediate medical attention and seems to be doing well now. Fuentes told MARCA that the plan for the swimmer is to rest all day Thursday in hopes of her being able to compete in Friday’s team free event. However, Alvarez will go through testing in the next few days to try and figure out the cause of her fainting.
The 25-year-old Alvarez was competing for a medal in her third trip to the World Championships. She did not see the podium, finishing seventh. Japanese swimmer Yukiko Inui took gold, Marta Fiedina won silver for Ukraine and Evangelia Platanioti earned bronze for Greece.
Unfortunately, Alvarez has a history of fainting. She also fainted while doing her artistic swimming routine last year at the Olympic qualifier in Barcelona. After that incident, her mother told WIVB that she had seen her daughter faint before, but not during a competition.