Murray gets 2018 off to a flier

Clitheroe modern pentathlete Samantha Murray was victorious in the first ranking event of the year
Clitheroe modern pentathlete Samantha Murray was victorious in the first ranking event of the year

Reigning British champion Samantha Murray enjoyed more success on home soil as she started 2018 with victory at the first Pentathlon GB ranking competition of the year in Bath.

Clitheroe’s Rio Olympian was in contention throughout the day, with Murray second following the opening two disciplines before taking the lead after the laser run and retaining it during the horse-riding phase of the women’s competition.

Murray edged out Jess Varley into second with Joanna Muir third.

Jamie Cooke finished ahead of Sam Curry and Joe Choong in the men’s event.

The competition marked the beginning of a long 2018 season with the World Championships in Mexico not taking place until mid-September. However, the event was still keenly contested with all athletes already well into their winter training blocks.

In the fencing hall, it was Surrey’s Francesca Summers who led the way, producing a fine display to secure 23 victories and just five defeats from her 28 bouts.

A strong second half saw London 2012 silver medallist Murray secure 19 victories, the same number as Varley.

In the pool, Murray led the way in a time of 2:15.71, ahead of Lancashire’s Georgia Hannam (2:17.58) and Saddleworth’s Olivia Green (2:19.17).

A thrilling laser run saw a great battle between the top three as the positions changed throughout, with Murray making her break on the third 800m loop.

In the ride, Green was eliminated after an error at the final fence, while a fall saw Summers suffer 58 penalty points. It meant that Murray claimed top honours at the opening event of the season.