A year after London, Samantha Murray takes on world

Samantha Murray is competing in Taiwan next week
Samantha Murray is competing in Taiwan next week

A year to the week after Samantha Murray won Team GB’s 65th and final medal of the London Olympics, she is preparing to take on the world again.

Samantha won silver in the modern pentathlon on August 12th last year, backing up her bronze medal in the World Championships in Rome.

She flies out for Kaohsiung on Saturday from Heathrow - a gruelling 15-hour journey - hoping to create more glorious memories.

However, she won’t be drawing too much on last year’s heroics: “Monday was our last day of altitude training in Barcelona, I had a webchat a year on from winning my medal, and it was great to look back on what I achieved.

“But, to be honest, I’m just preoccupied with next week.

“No-one’s really mentioned last year, it’s gone now, it’s good to have that experience, but it’s in the past and I’m thinking about the here and now and what I can achieve next week.

“My fitness is there, I feel in brilliant shape and I have to work with what I have now, not distract myself thinking about last year.”

But she feels confident in herself and is eyeing a place in the top six at least: “I’ve been geeing myself up, I’m excited about it. The rest of the world are really strong, but if I could finish top six, I would be really happy.

“That’s my goal. Top 10 minimum, but top six ideally, and if I can go on and win a medal, that would be great.”

The 23-year-old doesn’t just have to compete with her rivals, but the conditions in Chinese Taipei, where heat and humidity - and diet - is an issue: “We have the journey to start with, from Heathrow to Bangkok, to Kaohsiung, which is about 15 hours in total.

“We fly at 10 p.m. and I’ll wake myself at 4 a.m. to adapt to the time zone which is eight hours ahead. We have to pack all our meal and medical needs, our powdered spaghetti bolognaise and supplements, things like imodium.

“Then there’s the conditions - it’s 35 degress at the moment, and the humidity is 85-90%, that’s the biggie.”

Qualifying is held on Wednesday, with the final next Friday.

Samantha would again like to thank Bowker Mini for their help, as well as the Pink Jersey - the female branch of Clitheroe cycling shop the Green Jersey - who have sponsored the GB team’s running vests for the World Championships.