Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray is relishing her first-ever trip to Brazil after being named on the British team for the second modern pentathlon World Cup of the season in Rio.
Murray’s silver at London 2012 continued Britain’s fine run of medalling in the women’s event at every Games since it was introduced onto the Olympic programme at Sydney 2000.
And the 23-year-old will get a glimpse of the next Summer Olympic host city as part of an eight-strong British team for the second World Cup of 2013, which starts on March 20 in Rio.
She will be joined in competing at her first World Cup of the season by reigning individual world champion Mhairi Spence while two-time Olympian Nick Woodbridge follows suit.
Katy Burke, Kate French, Jamie Cooke, Sam Curry and Joe Evans all return to World Cup action having competed at the season opener last month where the latter won bronze on debut.
And Murray, who won Britain’s 65th and final medal of the London 2012 Olympics with silver in the modern pentathlon, can’t wait to experience what Brazil has to offer.
“This will be the first time I’ve been to Brazil, so I’m really looking forward to the experience and to competing again,” said Murray. “It will be good to get back in the saddle again and do another pentathlon.”
Meanwhile Spence, who went from the high of winning the world title last year to the low of finishing in 21st at London 2012, is too eager to get back out on the international circuit.
She said: “It will be good to get there and have a run out. I’m in decent shape and I’m looking forward to getting back into the competitive season.”
And Pentathlon GB performance director Jan Bartu admits he is intrigued to see what Murray and Spence in particular can deliver after contrasting performances at London 2012.
“This is the first of four seasons leading up to Rio. There is a long way to, but the whole process is aimed towards Rio,” said Bartu.
“Samantha and Mhairi had a long, exhausting and very successful 2012 season, so we’ve given them time to regroup and come back to training gradually.
“This is an opportunity to see how much performance level they have carried forward from 2012 and to see where their potential strengths and gaps are at the moment.
“It’s also a priceless for the team to check out the travel, transition, acclimatisation, culture and food in Rio.”
© Sportsbeat 2013