Samantha Murray is approaching competition in 2013 completely opposite to how she did in 2012 with the Olympic silver medallist at ease ahead of her first World Cup appearance this year.
The 23-year-old, who won Britain’s 65th and final medal at the London 2012 Olympics with women’s modern pentathlon silver, opens her season with a first trip to Brazil for the Rio World Cup.
Murray is one of eight Brits, including individual world champion Mhairi Spence who finished 21st at London 2012, competing in the next Olympic host city but she wasn’t originally going to do so.
After consulting her coach Murray changed her mind and is now in Rio and, while in 2012 she was consumed by winning medals, her current frame of mind is playful rather then serious.
“I wasn’t originally going to Brazil but I spoke to my coach and he thought it would be better to get back into it sooner,” said Murray.
“The Rio Olympics is so far away but I’ve never been to that part of the world before and I can’t picture in my mind what it will be like, so it will be good to get a feel for the place.
“This year and next year will be about seeing if we can make changes and improve things – it’s about playing and having fun. I think that’s why I’m so relaxed about the competitions ahead.
“Last year, it was always ‘I want a medal, I want a medal’. I was maybe getting too stressed about winning.
“This year, I’m strong and a lot more experienced, so I can step back and play with what I’m doing, accept that a top-six finish is pretty good.
“At the same time, the next 18 months are a big opportunity because I won’t have lost everything I built up last year.
“It would be good to compete well and raise my profile, because 2015 and 2016 could be really big years for me in terms of finishing my career on a high and changing my life.”
© Sportsbeat 2013