Murray gets Olympic nod

Samantha Murray models the officlal Team GB Rio Olympics kit
Samantha Murray models the officlal Team GB Rio Olympics kit
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Samantha Murray has set her sights on achieving a historic double at this summer’s Olympics.

The Preston-born modern pentathlon star was this week named in the Team GB squad which will be on the plane to Rio de Janeiro.

Having won a silver at London 2012, Murray has the opportunity to become the first female British modern pentathlete to earn a podium spot at two different Olympics.

It was on the final day of the event four years ago when Murray became a household name by coming second behind Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskait.

She was the last British Olympian to claim a medal in what was a glorious Games for the home nation.

“The Olympic Games mean everything to me,” said Murray. “Having competed at London I now know what it’s all about.

“I know what it’s like to compete at the Games, and I feel like I know what it takes to get on the podium again.

“That has been my goal now for four years, to become the first British female pentathlete to win medals at two Olympic Games.”

Murray – who was crowned world champion in 2014 – was selected in the squad alongside team-mates Kate French, Joe Choong and James Cook.

“It’s really exciting – to represent Team GB is an amazing honour and I’m really looking forward to doing it again,” she added. “We get the chance every four years to showcase what we can deliver.

“We have won a medal at every Games since Sydney, so we have consistently shown people that we are a really strong nation at pentathlon.

“I don’t think this year will be an exception.”

Having been crowned world champion in 2014, Murray will be one of the fancied athletes in Rio although her form this year has been patchy.

She scooped a silver medal in the team relay – alongside Jo Muir – at the World Championship in Moscow last month.

But then finished well outside a medal placing in 16th spot in the individual event, despite a strong start which saw her in fourth spot after two events.

“My World Championships started with a high as with my team-mate Joanna Muir, we won a silver medal in the women’s relay. It was a fun day and a great experience for us both.

“In the first event of the individual event, I swam a season best of 2:08.4 which put me in third spot overall.

“In the fence, I had a strong start and held on to the end finishing in 10th which put me in fourth place after two events.

“It was then onto the show jumping. Frustratingly, I had one pole down in the final line of the course at the treble as we entered sightly too fast.

“This meant I had a seven point penalty and would start the combined in joint fourth place with a 20 second handicap.

“My race began with two weak shoots that meant I dropped in the field. However I shot really well for the final 2 shoots and ran strongly throughout. This was good but not enough to make up the places and I finished in 16th.

“There are lots of positives to take from the week competing and indeed from the final.

“More importantly, it has given me a good indication of what I need to work on.”

rest of the season.”