Tokyo 2020 Olympics rowing berth the ‘golden egg at the end of the long road’ for Stockport-raised Bugajski

When rower Josh Bugajski glances to the crowd with 150 metres to go in a race he looks for his inspiration, his guiding light, his mother Pat.

The 27-year-old (above left) was raised singlehandedly in Stockport by his mother, who has already battled ovarian and breast cancer in her life.

So there’s no surprise he uses her battles as motivation to achieve his ultimate ambition; a medal at an Olympic Games.

But Bugajski’s journey into the sport is far from traditional. Having only started rowing in his second year at university, his new-found venture proved to be one the best decisions he ever made.

Now, the rower is in the Great Britain senior rowing squad, with proud mum Pat always watching, something Bugajski is extremely thankful for.

He said: “She’s very proud, she’s been watching everything I’ve been doing on television or live whenever she can get there. My mum’s immensely proud of what I do as are the rest of my family.

“I do use her as inspiration. She used to come down and race at Nottingham when I was at university and she would be in the seats which were about 150m from the finish line and sometimes I imagine her being there even if she’s not so that spurs me on for sure.

“Fingers crossed I would be able to get her out to Tokyo but we’ll have to see.”

The former University of Oxford powerhouse helped Great Britain get off to a fine start this season with a silver medal in the men’s eight at the maiden World Rowing Cup of the campaign, in Belgrade.

Now he sits confident of a bright future for the men’s eight despite finishing second behind Germany in Serbia earlier this month.

He said: “I think there’s a lot of potential in the team moving forward.

“The guys who are in here at the moment have made the boat very fast but we still have a lot of people who can come into the fold and hopefully as a team we can become much stronger and deeper over the coming months.”

He may have only been involved in the sport seven years but Bugajski, who studied for a master’s in oncology at the University of Oxford, believes he can make his Olympic dream come true in Tokyo in two years’ time.

He said: “It’s my huge dream. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time. It feels like the golden egg at the end of the long road.

“It’s important for the entire team to keep on rising. It’s not just about the eight winning it’s about the four and the doubles coming away with medals.

“We want medals in the next few world cups that will help us get medals at the World Championships.”

Bugajski was speaking at the launch of the GB Rowing Team’s new competition kit in association with sponsors SAS, the Official Analytics Partner of British Rowing.

A market leader in analytics, SAS has been helping British rowers get the best out of their performances by using data from training and racing since 2014.

The rower said: “Data analytics has enabled us to figure out how well the boat is working and what we can do as a crew to improve.

“Since I’ve been rowing I’ve seen a massive improvement in the technology being used and the data has helped our performances massively in that time.”

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