ONES TO WATCH – TYSON BUJAK-UPTON
Name: Tyson Bujak-Upton
Favourite Post-Meet Treat: A big feed! Definitely steak
Swimming Idols: Ian Thorpe and Kyle Chalmers
Podium finishes and personal best times are just a small sign of exciting things to come for Tyson Bujak-Upton, who lines up on the blocks this week in the boys 14 years’ races at the 2017 Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships.
Bujak-Upton grabbed the silver medal in the 100m freestyle on Day 3 of the Championships, and will be aiming for the dais again in the 200m freestyle at the end of the week.
The 14-year-old currently trains five sessions a week, as well as two gym sessions, without weights.
“I’ll step up my training every year,” he said. “The plan is to add another session every birthday.”
In addition to training hard, Bujak-Upton has pool pedigree the envy of his competitors. His dad Simon Upton had an esteemed career in the pool, the pinnacle of which was competing in the 100 and 200m backstroke at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games. His uncle Richard also competed at an elite level, collecting a stash of World Championships medals in the mid to late nineties.
“It really gives me extra motivation,” he said of his family history.
“They have all been there and have the extra knowledge and they let me know about that. It can give me a little bit of an edge on everybody else who doesn’t have family members who have swum at the Olympics and World Championships.”
With plenty of inspiration on his own doorstep, Bujak-Upton also looks up to other swimming Olympians as he eyes his own future in the pool.
“I look up to Ian Thorpe, because he was the world’s best and Kyle Chalmers because he was the underdog. He was the dark horse and he just came out and won the Olympics – how cool.”