Italian World Champion Filippo Magnini Saves Drowning Man on Sardinian Beach

MAGNINI Filippo ITA PONSELE' Aurora ITA Nation Ranking First Place 32nd LEN European Championships Berlin, Germany 2014 Aug.13 th - Aug. 24 th Day12 - Aug. 24 Photo G. Scala/Deepbluemedia/Inside

Italian Filippo Magnini, a two-time world champion in the 100 freestyle, can add the title of lifesaver to his resume. Magnini was enjoying some personal time on a Sardinian beach on Sunday when he was alerted that a man, Andrea Benedetto, was drowning. While lifeguards were alerted and moved to get their rescue raft to the Benedetto, Magnini was closer. The Olympic medalist got to Benedetto first and kept him afloat.

Benedetto had married his boyfriend just two days earlier and got into the life-threatening situation when he fell off an inflatable on which he was floating.

“The bather was in a lot of trouble. He was quite frightened. He was really stuck and had swallowed some seawater,” Magnini said, according to Italy’s Corriere dello Sport. “When I reached him he wasn’t even able to speak, and it wasn’t easy to lift him on to the raft, so we laid him on an airbed that some other bathers had nearby.”

Last year, Magnini had retired by the time he was served a four-year doping ban for links he is alleged to have had with a doctor banned for supplying banned substances in Italy. Magnini is in the process of mounting an appeal, having denied any wrongdoing himself. He said of the investigation: “There is no proof, it’s a sentence that was already written. We will certainly appeal. We’re talking about picking on me, forcing the issue.”