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Andrea Fuentes is the hero coach who saved US swimmer Anita Alvarez at World Championships

Andrea Fuentes is the hero coach who saved American swimmer Anita Alvarez from possible drowning at World Championships…and she is also Spain’s most decorated Olympian

  • Andrea Fuentes saved Anita Alvarez from possible drowning earlier this week
  • Alvarez passed out while competing in the final of the women’s free solo event
  • Fuentes jumped into the water and rescued Alvarez before lifeguards intervened
  • She is the most decorated female Olympian of all time with four medals

There are few ways you can trump as the most decorated Spanish female Olympian of all time – but Andrea Fuentes did just that after saving Anita Alvarez at the World Championships on Wednesday.

Alvarez passed out in the pool while competing in the final of the women’s free solo event in Budapest, before being rescued by coach Fuentes who dragged her to safety.

The 39-year-old, who retired from competition in 2013, received much deserved credit for her courage and determination this week – symbolizing her successful career in the pool.

Andrea Fuentes speaks to the media after her incredible exploits over Anita Alvarez .  to save

Andrea Fuentes speaks to the media after her incredible exploits for Anita Alvarez . to save

Andrea Fuentes said she had to jump in the pool because 'the lifeguards weren't doing it'

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

Fuentes joined the Spanish national synchronized swimming team in 1999 before competing in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.

The 39-year-old has won a total of four Olympic medals and claimed three silvers and one bronze, leveling her with Mireia Belmonte and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario as the most successful female Spanish Olympian in history.

She holds the title of Spain’s most decorated swimmer in history, with an impressive 16 World Championship and 11 European Championship medals to her name.

Fuentes decided to retire in 2013 due to a conflict between herself and the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation and has been a coach ever since.

Anita Alvarez was rescued by Fuentes after she lost consciousness in the pool on Thursday

Anita Alvarez was rescued by Fuentes after she lost consciousness in the pool on Thursday

Fuentes (center) and Alvarez (right) watch as the US battle it out in the championship final

Fuentes (center) and Alvarez (right) watch as the US battle it out in the championship final

After the Budapest incident, Fuentes claimed she had to intervene because “the lifeguards weren’t doing it.”

The four-time Olympic champion explained: “It was a big shock. 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’s doing really well. Anita is doing much better.’

She added: ‘In our sport, sometimes if we don’t breathe for a long time, with very high heart rates and sometimes the oxygen isn’t getting where it needs to be, we pass out.

Alvarez was barred from entering the final after passing out in the pool a few days earlier

Alvarez was barred from entering the final after passing out in the pool a few days earlier

The US team finished in an inspiring ninth place in the women’s artistic swimming team free final this afternoon after Alvarez was barred from participating less than two hours before the event started.

Yujin Chang, who struggled with an injury last week, was called up at short notice to compete in the final and make her world championship 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.

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