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Britain's Samantha Murray is the new modern pentathlon world champion
Britain's Samantha Murray is the new modern pentathlon world champion after
striking gold in Warsaw today (Friday).
And there was a double celebration for the British team as she joined forces
with Kate French and Freyja Prentice to secure the silver medal for Great
Britain in the team competition.
Twenty-four-year-old Murray becomes only the fourth British woman to win
individual Modern Pentathlon World Championship gold and her success today
followed an individual bronze at the 2012 World Championships in Rome and
silver at the London 2012 Olympics.
Murray¹s performances today included a modern pentathlon short course world
record for the 200m freestyle and she looked calm and relaxed as she climbed
from third to first in the run/shoot to secure gold.
³It doesn¹t feel real,² said Murray, who is originally from Clitheroe in
Lancashire and now lives in Bath, where she trains at the Pentathlon GB
National Training Centre at the University of Bath.
³I¹ve worked so hard for this and I¹ve been aiming for this competition for
a while. To be able to say I¹m world champion is absolutely fantastic. I
dreamed of this so often and now my dream has come true.
³When I started to relax and smile today all the work I have put in came
through. I couldn't believe how easy the combined event felt. I was really
on top of it today.
³My coaches Istvan (Nemeth) Frici (Foldes) and Jan (Bartu) have had so much
faith in me. They've given me so much support and pushed me when I needed it
and my training partners have been great. I owe a massive thank you to so
And she paid tribute to 2012 world champion Mhairi Spence, who didn't make
the final today but helped Murray during her campaign. ³Having someone of
her experience helping me was fantastic. I owe her a huge thank you,² she
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: ³It was a world class
performance. It¹s fantastic to see her back because it hasn¹t been easy for
her over the last year.
³She decided to go for it and this is the reward for the hard work. She
showed maximum composure in the combined event today. From her first shot
she was absolutely relaxed and she kept a fantastic rhythmic.
³It was an amazing improvement on how she was shooting last year and it's a
credit to Istvan Nemeth and the coaching team, and to the English Institute
of Sport team who have all contributed to this success.
³It was a well deserved silver medal for the team today,² he added. ³They
were beaten by a better team the Chinese were almost perfect today.²
Murray is Britain¹s fourth individual woman modern pentathlon world champion
and follows in the footsteps of Wendy Norman (1982), Steph Cook (2001) and
Mhairi Spence (2012).
Murray started her campaign today by winning 18 of her 34 fencing bouts to
put her joint 14th with 208 pentathlon points. French and Prentice won 14
contests each, to start the day in joint 23rd with 184 points. Russia¹s
Donata Rimsaite led the field with 25 victories for 250 points.
Murray produced a storming swim to climb to second place on the leaderboard.
Her time of 2:03.84 was a 200m freestyle modern pentathlon world record in a
short course pool smashing the record of 2:04.26 set by Hungary¹s Sarolta
Kovacs at the European Championships in Medway three years ago.
That time earned Murray 329 pentathlon points taking her total to 537 points
and putting her 10 points behind Kovacs, the new overall leader.
French¹s time of 2:16.89 was the 19th fastest of the day and added 290
points to her total, putting her 25th. Prentice¹s 2:19.40 was the 28th
fastest, earning 282 points and putting her 28th overall going into the
Murray kept up her momentum with a steady round in the riding arena. She
went clear, but incurred six time penalties to add 294 points to her total.
That meant she went to the combined event in third with 831 points.
She started 16 seconds behind Kovacs, who still led the field, and five
seconds behind Rimsaite, who had moved up to second place.
Prentice dropped seven points from the maximum 300 available in the ride to
go into the combined event in 25th, 88 seconds off the lead, while French
collected 286 points in the ride to go into the run shoot in 24th, starting
a second ahead of Prentice.
Murray looked relaxed as she set off on the run/shoot, moving past Kovacs
into the lead on the second of four 800m running legs. She shot calmly and
her lead never looked in doubt, and she crossed the finish line triumphantly
with a huge smile on her face. Her combined event time of 12:00.6 was the
second fastest of the day.
China¹s Qian Chen came home eight seconds later to take silver, with her
team-mate Wanxia Liang taking bronze, a further 19 seconds back.
Prentice¹s produced the fifth best run/shoot of the day with a time of
12:07.73 to climb to 19th, while French¹s 12:37.52 was 17th fastest and saw
her finish in 26th.
And there was a double celebration with the performances of Murray, Prentice
and French sing Great Britain take team silver behind China.
Tomorrow (Saturday) the men return to action in their final with Jamie Cooke
and 19-year-old Joe Choong representing Great Britain.
Women¹s individual results
Gold: Samantha Murray (GBR) 1411 points
Silver: Qian Chen (CHN) 1403 points
Bronze: Liang Wanxia (CHN) 1384 points
19th: Freyja Prentice (GBR) 1332 points
26th: Kate French (GBR) 1303 points
Nearly 40% of parents of girls report their daughters being inspired to take up a sport after watching professionals in action.