A swimmer struggling in the sea off Sardinia soon discovered it was his lucky day.
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Italian news agency ANSA says the male tourist got in trouble Sunday afternoon after his inflatable swan was carried away by the wind. According to a witness, the swimmer’s friends alerted a life guard — but someone else was closer by.
Former world champion swimmer Filippo Magnini, who won bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympics, had no problem in reaching the man in a few quick strokes.
Magnini told La Gazzetta dello Sport that “the swimmer was in trouble. At a certain point, he got scared, couldn’t move and swallowed a bit of water. When I reached him, he couldn’t even speak.”
Magnini kept the man afloat until the lifeguard arrived.
“I did what I felt I should do,” Magnini said. “Swim as fast as I could to save him. The important thing is the swimmer is safe.”
The 37-year-old Magnini was swimming nearby with his girlfriend, Italian model and TV personality Giorgia Palmas.
Magnini, who won the 100-meter freestyle at the 2005 and 2007 world championships and a relay bronze at the 2004 Olympics, received a four-year ban for doping in 2018 after he had retired. He never tested positive and denied any wrongdoing.
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