Anita Alvarez congratulates her team-mates after fainting in the pool

Anita Alvarez congratulates US team-mates two days after she fainted in the pool and stopped breathing for two minutes during World Championships in Hungary… as she is BANNED from competing in artistic swimming final just two hours before it

  • Anita Alvarez hugged her team-mates after being banned from competing
  • The 25-year-old fainted in the pool on Wednesday and was saved by her coach
  • Team USA finished ninth in the women’s team free final without Alvarez
  • It is the second time the artistic swimmer has been saved after fainting in a pool 

Artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was seen congratulating her team-mates today after her life threatening scare on Wednesday.

Alvarez, 25, fainted in the pool whilst competing in the final of the women’s solo free event at the world championships in Budapest, before being saved by coach Andrea Fuentes, who jumped into the pool and dragged her to safety with a lifeguard.

The USA team finished an inspiring ninth in the artistic swimming women’s team free final this afternoon after Alvarez was banned from competing fewer than two hours before the event began.

Anita Alvarez hugged her team-mates after they finished ninth without her this afternoon

Alvarez was banned from competing fewer than two hours before the event took place

The 25-year-old posed with her team before what proved to be a spirited performance

Yujin Chang, who was struggling with injury last week, was drafted in on short notice to compete in the final and make her world championships debut.

Team USA scored 87.4667 in the final, with China (96.7000), Ukraine (95.0000), and Japan (93.1333) taking first, second, and third respectively.

When Alvarez fainted, Fuentes leapt in and pulled her out the water. Alvarez regained consciousness soon after being rescued from the pool and received immediate first aid. 

Andrea Fuentes said she had to jump into the pool because ‘the lifeguards weren’t doing it’

Alvarez was rescued by Fuentes after losing consciousness in the pool on Thursday

After the final without Alvarez, per, Fuentes said: ‘It was about trust and proving to ourselves that we’re not going to stop just because they don’t allow [Alvarez to swim]. 

‘The important thing is that we tried. It was not even a failure because we lost Anita literally one-and-a-half hours before, and we practised with her. 

‘We had to rearrange everything, and we did our best with a swimmer who has never been on this team. I think we did very well despite these conditions.’  

American team doctor Selina Shah had claimed she was ‘very confident’ Alvarez could have competed in the final on Friday, but international federation Fina said ‘she should not compete’.

Alvarez watched the event with other members of Team USA that weren’t competing

She still felt every moment as she cheered on her team-mates from the side of the pool

This was not the first time Alvarez had fainted in the pool. An incident of similar nature occurred last year during an Olympics qualifying event in Barcelona, where she was also rescued by Fuentes.

Alvarez told Spectrum News at the time that the incident was due to her demanding schedule but admitted she fought on, competing again later that day, because she was desperate to secure a return to the Olympics last summer.

Three-time Olympic gold medalist Alla Shishkina has called for Alvarez to undergo a ‘full medical examination’.

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