Murray heads youthful modern pentathlon World Cup team

25 February 2014 / 11:13

Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray heads up a young British team looking to kick start the 2014 modern pentathlon World Cup season with a strong showing in Acapulco, Mexico this week.

Second at London 2012, 24-year-old Murray is the most experienced member of the eight-strong team in which half of the athletes are 21 or younger.

Mhairi Spence, world champion in 2012, and Nick Woodbridge, silver medallist at last year’s World Championships, are both absent as they work their way back to fitness following injuries.

Murray, who is currently ranked 16th in the world, is instead joined by Kate French and the Scottish duo of Freyja Prentice and 19-year-old Jo Muir, with the latter contesting her second World Cup having made her debut a year ago in Palm Springs.

While in the men’s team, former world junior champion Jamie Cooke will look to carry on last season’s good form which saw him earn his first World Cup gold in Hungary and finish fifth at the World Championships to end the year ranked fourth.

He is selected alongside leading world junior Joe Evans, with Sam Curry and Tom Toolis also making the team for the five-day World Cup event which starts on Wednesday.

And while it may be a youthful team, Pentathlon GB Performance Director Jan Bartu believes the opening World Cup competition of the season will give his athletes a chance to lay down an early marker.

“This is the second year of the Olympic cycle leading up to Rio, so the bar is rising gradually for athletes,” said Bartu.

“They all have a lot more experience than a year ago and we expect them to show a good international standard at the first World Cup of the season.

“Each season everyone starts again on zero really, it’s an open book. They need to forget what’s happened in the past. It’s a new season with new dynamics.”

© Sportsbeat 2014