Born in Preston and raised in Clitheroe, modern pentathlete Samantha Murray burst onto the international scene in 2012 when she helped the Great Britain team to European and world gold. Since then she has continued to carve out a name for herself, winning multiple world and European gold medals, including the individual title at the former in 2014. Samantha competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, coming away with silver in the women’s event.
In her latest blog, Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray reacts to being named on the team for Rio 2016 and looks back on the highs and lows of the World Championships.
Find out more about Samantha's homegrown hero profile here:
Qualification and selection for my second Olympic Games as a modern pentathlete is an honour and I am extremely proud to represent my sport and my country.
It has been a challenging four years since the London Olympics in 2012. There have been some massive high points, like becoming World Champion in 2014.
Then there have also been occasions where I have persevered thorough difficulties such as injury and illness. However, selection for Team GB in my sport of modern pentathlon is a truly delightful reward.
I have developed as an athlete over the past four years as I have gained more experience and added depth to my game. By this I mean, I have enhanced my skills in the weaker element (for me this has been my fencing) of my five disciplined sport and have sharpened the aspects of my best skills – the combined run and shoot event.
The most recent competition was in May when the GB team attended the World Championships in Moscow. On the first day of the competition, Jo Muir and I won team silver in the Women’s Relay.
This was a huge achievement and everything went well throughout the competition. I really shook off all my nerves and put into practice everything I’d been working on in preparing for the event.
In the individual event, I achieved my season’s personal best for the 200m free style swim, and in the fencing I ranked tenth which is a great position in the biggest and most competitive event of the calendar.
I enjoyed a consistent ride after which I was ranked in fourth place coming into the combined run/shoot event.
This is a great position and one that I have been in before - I was in fourth position going into the combined event at London 2012 and the same at the World Championships in 2014. If I start from that position, I normally win a medal…
However, it didn’t go to plan as I shot badly in the first of four visits to the range. I ran excellently in the first leg of the 3200m but then I shot badly again in the second visit to the range and thus the damage was done.
I shot better in the last two shoots, but I couldn’t make up the table and finished 16th. It was a massive disappointment which I put down to the way I had been practicing my shoot routines (I’ve had problems in training with injury and technical changes with my pistol) and I know what I need to do to rectify this problem.
I look now at the positives because there are so many. What has happened in the past can’t be changed but we can learn and change future practice routines with a view to improved results.
With Rio so close now my focus, and the focus of my coaches, is to refine the technical issues and reach a level of skill worthy of a medal winning performance.