Scroll for more


Russian FederationRussian Federation, RUS


Further Personal Information

Date of birth
03 April 1992
Partner Aleksander Lesun
Los Angeles, CA, USA
English, Russian

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
She began swimming as a child and took up training at age seven in Volgodonsk, Russian Federation.
Why this sport?
She took up acrobatics first but her father suggested she should start swimming. "My dad is a coach. From the very beginning, he wanted to make me an athlete. I don't know, maybe it was his unrealised dream: he was also an athlete, but not of such a high level. And he was putting a little bit into it. I did a lot of things, I was so versatile, but most of all I liked swimming."
Club / Team
Efimova Team: Russia
Name of coach
Andrey Efimov [father], RUS
Training Regime
She trains six days per week having a day off on Sunday. She trains five to six hours daily.

International Debut

Competing for
World Cup

General Interest

Spending time with friends, travel, surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding. (, 07 Oct 2019)
Memorable sporting achievement
Winning silver at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 25 Dec 2019)
Hero / Idol
US swimmer Michael Phelps, Russian swimmer Alexander Popov. (, 09 Aug 2013)
After winning gold in the 50m breaststroke at the 2017 Russian Short Course Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation, she withdrew from the following events because of an injury relapse. It also made her miss the 2017 European Short Course Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Facebook profile, 20 Nov 2017;, 22 Nov 2017)

She swam with an injured leg at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. (, 03 Aug 2009)
Awards and honours
She was named 2017 Sportswoman of the Year by the All-Russia Swimming Federation. (, 25 Dec 2017)

In 2008, 2015 and 2016 she was named the Russian Swimming Federation's Female Swimmer of the Year. (, 24 Dec 2016;, 21 Dec 2015, 19 Apr 2013)

For her achievements at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she received the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation. (, 25 Aug 2016)

In recognition of her performance at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, she was given the Order for Merits to the Fatherland [second grade] of the Russian Federation. (, 13 Aug 2012)

She has received the title of Honoured Master of Sport in the Russian Federation. (, 27 Dec 2019)
She became the first female swimmer representing the Russian Federation to win a world title when she won gold in the 50m breaststroke at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. At the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Republic of Korea, she took her overall long course world championships medal tally to 17, the most by a Russian swimmer. She also tied Aleksandr Popov for most gold medals by a Russian swimmer at the long course world championships when she claimed her sixth career gold medal in Gwangju. (, 30 Jul 2019; SportsDeskOnline, 12 Oct 2019)

She became the first Russian female swimmer to win two medals at a single edition of the Olympic Games when she claimed silver in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Her overall Olympic tally of three medals is the most by a Russian female swimmer. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Aug 2016)
Famous relatives
Her partner Aleksander Lesun is a Russian modern pentathlete who won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (, 08 Oct 2019)
To win gold at the Olympic Games. (, 25 Dec 2019)
Other information
She has said that winning an Olympic gold medal is the main motivation that makes her stay in professional sport. "I am staying in swimming for one thing - an Olympic gold medal. I still don't have it. If I had won it in 2008, 2012 or 2016, I probably would not have stayed in swimming for such a long time. It's the only thing that keeps me going. It is difficult, physically and morally, to keep going. Sometimes you think, 'Why am I doing this?' But these doubts happen rarely." (, 07 Oct 2019)

In October 2013 she tested positive for the banned steroid dehydroepiandrosterone at an out-of-competition test. She was suspended from competition for 16 months, from October 2013 to February 2015. (, 17 Mar 2016;, 13 May 2014)