Sam decides it’s time to take time-out

Samantha Murray pictured ahead of the recent Cairo championships
Samantha Murray pictured ahead of the recent Cairo championships

Samantha Murray will take a break before assessing her sporting future after failing to qualify for the UIPM Senior World Modern Pentathlon Championships final in Cairo.

Chasing a sixth-successive top-five finish at the championships, the 27-year-old 
Clitheroe athlete was eliminated in qualifying.

Ahead of the championships, she said: “It will be very difficult if I have a terrible day, to justify carrying on. It will be very hard mentally to come away with a position I’m not happy with.”

And on her Twitter page, she posted: “Time for a break. Body and mind. Reflection. ”

With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics cycle something to ponder, she has plenty to look forward to on a personal level.

She said: “It feels like I’ve come to the light at the end of the tunnel, I have a lot to look forward to – life feels different, it feels great.”

Women’s qualifying saw Kent’s Kate French – who went on to finish sixth in the final – placed in Group B alongside fellow Rio Olympian Murray.

The duo started in the pool, as Murray recorded a time of 2:13.17 and French 2:17.35 to leave themselves well placed.

It was to be the fencing hall that proved the critical discipline of the day though, with 26-year-old French building on a solid start and accelerating on to 10 victories and five defeats at the halfway stage.

The world No.2 matched that score in her last 15 bouts to finish the discipline on 20 victories and just 10 defeats, tied fourth in the group standings. It meant that French started the Group B laser run in third overall and she looked comfortable throughout the 3,200m course.

Having led out of the final shoot, the Pentathlon GB National Training Centre-based athlete was able to just cruise around the final 800m loop, crossing the line at the head of the group alongside Germany’s 2008 Olympic champion Lena Schoneborn.

Meanwhile, Murray suffered a slow start to her fencing campaign, and it was one from which she never recovered.

Having picked up just four victories at the halfway stage, the former Ribble Valley Modern Pentathlon Club athlete limited the damage to finish with 11 victories and 19 defeats, meaning she sat in 20th position after two disciplines.

Despite a battling effort in the concluding run-shoot, the 2014 World champion could not make up enough ground, crossing the line 19th and missing out on a place in the final as third reserve.