London 2012 medallist Murray calls time on modern pentathlon career
Modern Pentathlon

London 2012 medallist Murray calls time on modern pentathlon career

13 November 2018 / 10:22
Samantha Murray, the winner of Team GB's 65th and final medal of the historic London 2012 Olympic Games, has announced her retirement from modern pentathlon.

The 29-year-old brings the curtain down on a magnificent career in which she became world champion three times, twice as part of the British team, before her individual crown in 2014.

But it’s the silver medal she won at her home Games that truly announced her modern pentathlon talent to the British public.

Sat in fourth place heading into the final combined running/shooting event, Murray needed something special to take her place on the podium.

She duly delivered on her strongest discipline, a huge performance taking her to 5,356 points and second place, the final medal in Team GB’s then-most successful Olympics since 1908.

Not bad for an athlete juggling training with working in a nightclub, as well as studying for a French and politics degree.

"I was 22 and very young, but I loved every moment," she told BBC Sport. "As soon as that medal was put around my neck I kissed it because it felt like a child to me. It was amazing.

"The response from home in Lancashire and the opportunities I had to tell my story with schoolchildren was something I really enjoyed but I also felt pride doing because to some I was a role model.

"I was on the cloakroom and was also a cocktail waitress. Looking back, I don't know how I did it. I must have had a lot more energy then.”

She added: “From a young age, it was my dream to compete at an Olympic Games and represent Great Britain.

“To have this opportunity to do so on two separate occasions, and bring home an Olympic medal in the process, is something I will cherish forever and for which I am eternally grateful.”

Spending weekends and holidays with horses as a child, Murray ventured into pistol shooting as part of her first modern pentathlon club before also taking up fencing.

It was there where her inspiration for the sport came – with a poster of Team GB’s Sydney 2000 gold medallist Steph Cook fuelling her desire for an Olympic medal of her own.

Twelve years later and the dream was to become reality in front of her home fans.

Murray also competed in Rio but a medal was not to be forthcoming this time around, although she was upgraded from ninth to eighth following the disqualification of China's Chen Qian for a doping offence.

But while a third Games and Tokyo 2020 is not on her agenda, Murray already has some ideas about what’s on the horizon.

"I'm getting married in July and I'm really happy to look forward to," she added.

"In terms of what I'm going to be next though, I enjoy public speaking, going into schools and speaking to other athletes, so maybe some mentoring but I love talking about sport and may look at doing a journalism course.

"I've loved being a modern pentathlete, but a I'm ready to attack something else.

“I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved in the sport, especially my World Championship title. I hope that my achievements have left a legacy that will continue to inspire pentathletes of the future.”

Sportsbeat 2018