US artistic swimmer, Anita Alvarez has been banned from competing in the team final at the World Championships today, 48 hours after she was dragged unconscious from the pool.
Alvarez fainted during her individual routine in Budapest on Wednesday afternoon, June 22, and had to be dramatically rescued by her coach, Andrea Fuentes.
The swimmer had hoped to take part in the final today, but the International Swimming Federation decided to exclude her just hours before the event was due to begin.
This comes after coach Fuentes said the four Olympic and 16 World Championship medals had a good chance of taking part to represent her country after tests.
Fuentes revealed Alvarez stopped breathing for ‘at least two minutes’ during the ordeal following her performance in the women’s solo free event.
Alvarez regained consciousness after being recovered from the water, received immediate first aid, and was reportedly recovering well.
She broke her silence on her latest ordeal overnight in an interview with NBC Nightly News and hailed Fuentes’ actions.
She said: ‘I mean I say this all the time to her and to other people, [I’m] just so grateful to have her as a coach. When I found out she was coming to be our coach, it was like, I didn’t believe it.’
Of the incident, she added: ‘I remember feeling like it was a really great performance. Like, my best one by far and not only just how I performed but just that I was actually enjoying it and really living in the moment too. So, because of that I feel really happy and really proud.
‘And then at the very end, I do remember like the very last arm I did, I gave like, it’s such a simple small arm. But I was like give everything until the very end and I did that and then I remember going down and just being like, kind of like, ‘uh-oh, I don’t feel too great. And that’s literally the last thing I remember actually.’
During an Olympics qualifying event in Barcelona 2021, Fuentes also saved the swimmer after she was filmed diving in and pulling her to safety when she fainted in the pool.