Maksym Shemberev Becomes Azerbaijan’s First Ever World Champs Swimming Finalist


Azerbaijani swimmer Maksym Shemberev has become the first swimmer in the history of his country to qualify for a swimming final at the FINA World Championships in either short course or long course. In prelims of the 400 IM on Sunday, the last day of the 2019 World Championships, Shemberev finished 6th in 4:14.62. While that falls short of his National Record of 4:13.61 set at the Doha World Cup last year, this swim came at the right meet to qualify him for a final.

While Shemberev currently represents one energy-rich, former Soviet Republic, Azerbaijan, he formerly represented another energy-rich, former Soviet Republic, Ukraine. The 26-year old was born in Kiev, but changed his sporting citizenship from Ukraine to Azerbaijan in 2015 after representing the former at the 2012 Olympic Games. There he finished 15th overall in the 400 IM.

He actually holds National Records in the 400 IM in both nations: he swam 4:15.64 at the 2011 World Junior Championships representing Ukraine, which was a Championship Record and good for gold.

He represented Azerbaijan at the 2016, 2017, and 2018 European Championships, but this is his first World Championship under his new flag. He won 4 gold medals at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games for Azerbaijan, topping the 200 fly, 400 IM, 800 free, and 1500 free.

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Any reason why he switched? Same as Viktoryia Gunes or different?

13 % Chinese person

According to Craig Lord Russian army was about over run Poltava & Viktoria had to flee , in reality her parents were already shopping around . They chose Turkey over several other nations that were willing to pay including Sweden .
Maxim got money from Azerbaijan when he could not get any in Ukraine .is my guess . I don’t believe he was in the first exodus out of Ukraine but a bit later . Also maybe he did not want to be conscripted ( whocan blame him ) to fight x civil war .


Thanks for the insight!



About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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