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 discusses the countdown to Rio, the importance of this year’s World Championships – and climbing Snowdon in her spare time
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This season has been full of preparation for the Olympic Games in August, so it’s all about working with a long-term perspective, looking ahead to the main target this year.
In April, I competed at the most recent World Cup in a little town near Budapest and it was my best result of the season.
I had a really good qualification and I felt in really good form, but then unfortunately I fell really ill on the morning of the final.
I spent the day battling with flu and fever and it was really horrible, but I managed to finish ninth - I was in a medal position until the final lap, but then I really struggled and had no energy.
I felt really depleted and to be honest, I was really happy that I managed to finish the day because at one point, I thought I might have to withdraw, but I’m really happy that all the skill events went well so it’s important to take those positives away.
The World Championships in Moscow are coming up later this month and I’m feeling really good ahead of competing.
We have started a four week training cycle, but I had a week off recently where I did some filming for Aldi, and then I climbed Snowdon!
I went with a friend, and it was really lovely. It was a wonderful clear day so we had an incredible view as we walked up.
It was really warm too on the way up, but when we got to the summit, there was a very chilly breeze, but it didn’t stop me getting a selfie at the top!
It was nice to do something different when I had a bit of time off, and it probably still helped with my fitness.
I fly to Moscow on May 22 and I am feeling really confident, but I’m not really thinking of where I’m going to finish because when I prepare for a competition, I just like to take each day as it comes and make the most of every session.
I’m just making sure I’m getting enough sleep, eating really well and keeping my body in good shape.
The World Championships is the most important event for us before Rio because it is the final competition before Team GB selection.
If we medal and get on the podium, we will qualify for the team so that is a massive incentive for us and something that we are all working for, and considering it is the last part of Olympic qualification, everyone is feeling its importance.
It will be good to see where I am in terms of the rest of the world because everybody will bring their best form, so it will give us a realistic idea of what we could expect come the Olympics, but because there are so many uncontrollable factors in pentathlon, it means that we need to be as consistent as possible across the five disciplines, and if we are, it will mean that we do well.
The nature of the sport means that if you get a podium position, then it will feel like a gold medal no matter what colour you do win.
We all obviously want gold because it is the biggest prize, but if any of us won bronze, I don’t think there would be any disappointment at all just because of the sheer challenge of five events in one day.
It’s so exciting now that there are less than 100 days to go until the action gets underway in Rio, but I need to hold that excitement together because I’ve still got one more hurdle to get over in the form of the World Championships.