Cardiff University graduates competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games


Cardiff University graduates are among those competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A year later than planned, the Toyko Olympics Games begins with the opening ceremony today, with events until Sunday 8 August 2021 and the Paralympics from Tuesday 24 August through to Sunday 5 September.

Cardiff University Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students Claire Morgan said: "I’d like to wish all of our Cardiff University graduates the very best of luck over the next few weeks. I am very much looking forward to watching our athletes compete and I know the whole of the University community will be supporting them and celebrating their achievements."

Our Team GB Athletes:

Jake Heyward (BSc 2021) Athletics, Men’s 1500m

Newly graduated from Cardiff Business School, Jake has spent the last two years studying remotely from the United States of America while he has been training under Olympic medallist Mark Rowland.

Wales’ only representative in the Team GB athletics squad, Jake broke the 31-year-old Welsh 1500m record running 3.33.99, when qualifying for the Olympic Games. As well as the restricted athletics calendar due to the pandemic, Jake has also overcome injury setbacks over the last couple of seasons, which has meant race opportunities have been limited, making his Olympic debut even more of a remarkable achievement.

You can catch Jake when he competes in Round 1 on Tuesday 3 August, 09:05 (JST) / 01:05 (BST)

Mike Taylor (BSc 2019) Triathlon - Men’s PTS4

Born and raised in Barnstaple, North Devon, Michael was often involved in a variety of sport, including water polo, rugby, and swimming. He also worked as a beach lifeguard for the RNLI before coming to Cardiff University to study physiotherapy.

During the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics, Mike was a new amputee and was wondering what came next. Following a try-it session by British Triathlon, he joined the National Triathlon Performance Centre Wales and picked up some noticeable results.

Mike will be competing at his first Paralympic Games having secured two silvers at the World Triathlon Para Series in Yokohama and Leeds which marked his first international

medals at this level. After graduating from Cardiff with a BSc in physiotherapy he has gone on to study medicine at the University of Bath.

Mike competes in the Paralympics on Saturday 28 August, 06:30 - 11:00 (JST) / 22:30 - 03:00 (BST).

Natalie Powell (BSc 2015) Judo - Women’s - 78kg

Natalie graduated from Cardiff School of Biosciences in 2015 with a degree in Biomedical Sciences. This is her second Olympic Games, having finished seventh on her debut in Rio. Natalie is a Commonwealth champion, 3x European bronze medallist and a World bronze medallist and is seeded fifth.

In 2017 she became the first British female judoka to be ranked number one in the world, which she accomplished by winning a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi judo Grand Slam.

She took bronze at the 2018 World Masters in Guangzhou and has more than 30 World Cup medals.

Natalie first competes in Elimination Round of 16 on Thursday 29 July from 11:00 (JST) / 03:00 (BST)

Beccy Muzerie (nee Girling) (BSc 2012, MA 2015) Rowing - Women’s Eight

With a BSc in Psychology and MA in Social Work, double alumna Beccy Muzerie (nee Girling) took up rowing when she was a student. Approached at the Freshers Fair, she was asked if she would be interested in rowing as she had the right build and was initially so offended, she walked off! Something must have resonated though, as only four years later she represented Great Britain in the World University Championships, finishing fourth in the women’s double sculls.

In 2017 she made her senior world debut for Great Britain as one half of the women’s pair, finishing sixth at the Rowing World Cup in Poznan, and has since represented Great Britain at World and European Championships.

Becky first competes at the Olympics in Heat 1 on Saturday 24 July, 12:20 (JST) / 04:20 (BST).

Tom Barras (BSc 2015) Rowing - Men’s Quadruple Sculls

Tom began rowing at the age of 11 and continued his passion by joining the University team when he came to study Physiotherapy in 2011. While at Cardiff, he represented Great Britain at the 2012 World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, finishing 12th.

As an U23, he raced for Great Britain at the 2014, 2015 and 2016 World Championships - placing fifth place at Rotterdam in 2016. Tom won a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Rowing Championships in the double scull and claimed the BUCS single-scull title in 2015.

Tom’s first action at the Olympics is in Heat 1 on Friday 23 July, 11:30 (JST) / 03:30 (BST).

Rupert Shipperley (BSc 2014) Hockey

Whilst studying Human Geography and Planning, Rupert played for the University Hockey club, never losing a Varsity match versus Swansea.

After graduating he taught as a geography teacher, and in 2014 was selected to play for Wales. 70 caps later, he gave up teaching in 2019 to pursue his hockey dreams. He made his GB debut in early 2020 and had an auspicious start, scoring against Australia at the start of the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League.

The 28-year-old is now ensuring Welsh representation in a GB men’s Olympic hockey squad for the first time since Sydney 2000.

You can see Rupert competing in the below games:

Pool B - v South Africa - Saturday 24 July, 18:30 (JST) / 10:30 (BST)

Pool B - v Canada - Monday 26 July, 11:45 (JST) / 03:45 (BST)

Pool B - v Germany - Tuesday 27 July, 12:15 (JST) / 04:15 (BST)

Pool B - v Netherlands - Thursday 29 July, 12:15 (JST) / 04:15 (BST)

Pool B - v Belgium - Friday 30 July, 21:15 (JST) / 13:15 (BST)

Josh Bugajski (MPharm 2013) Rowing - Men’s Eight

In 2010, the day after his 20th birthday, Josh took part in a fitness test on the rowing machine at the University. Naturally fit and strong, his result impressed the coaches, and he was soon fast tracked into the Welsh rowing programme.

After graduating in 2013, Josh went on to study a master’s degree at Oxford and was selected to the Oxford reserve crew for the 2015 Boat Race, which he won, before stepping up to the Blue Boat in 2016 and 2017 - taking victory in his second race.

Josh made his senior GB debut in the first World Cup of the 2018 season, winning a silver medal in the men’s eight in his first race, going on to race the pair at World Cup II. In 2019, he won silver as part of the men’s eight at the European Championships in Lucerne and World Cup II in Poznan, Poland. In 2021, he won a gold medal in the eight in Varese, Italy at the European Championships.

Josh first competes at Tokyo Olympics in Heat 2 on Saturday 24 July, 12:10 (JST) / 04:10 (BST).

  • Follow @CardiffUniSport for the latest updates from our athletes on Twitter.

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