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Artistic swimmer and Kenmore native Anita Alvarez faints at end of competition at World Championships

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Tokyo Olympics Artistic Swimming (copy)

Kenmore's Anita Alvarez and Lindi Schroeder compete in the Duet Free Routine Preliminary during the Olympics in Tokyo last summer.

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Artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez, a Kenmore native, had a scary incident at the FINA World Championships in Budapest on Wednesday when her coach had to jump into the pool after Alvarez fainted.

Alvarez, a two-time Olympian, was competing in the solo free final.

Alvarez, 25, was doing “fine,” coach Andrea Fuentes told El Patidazo.  

“When a swimmer finishes the first thing she does is breathe, she sank and no one reacted, so I jumped in,” she said in an interview translated from Spanish. “She hasn’t breathed for two minutes. … The doctors insist that everything is fine … Athletes put the body to the limit, it has discovered today where its limit is.”

Fuentes saw that Alvarez did not return to the surface and acted quickly.

“I didn’t believe it,” she said. “Anita wasn’t breathing. I tried to wake her up by slapping her and opening her jaw.”

Alvarez was placed on a stretcher and removed from the pool area. The coach said the plan was for Alvarez to undergo more tests and rest Thursday with the possibility that she could compete in Friday’s team free event.

It is not the first time that Alvarez has fainted at the end of a competition. At the Olympic qualifier last summer in Barcelona, Alvarez briefly lost consciousness during the duet competition and Fuentes had to jump in to help her. She regained consciousness after she was carried to the pool deck and was treated for five minutes before being taken away by paramedics.

She rejoined the competition for a later round before being replaced.

Alvarez was ninth in the duet in the Rio Olympics with Mariya Koroleva. Alvarez and partner Lindi Schroeder finished 12th in Tokyo.

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