Oliver Murray – younger brother of Samantha – wins first ranking event of the year

Oliver Murray, left, and Kieran Harby at the range during the laser-run
Oliver Murray, left, and Kieran Harby at the range during the laser-run

Clitheroe’s Oliver Murray claimed victory at the first Pentathlon GB National Youth Ranking Competition of 2017 on Saturday.

Murray, 17, edged out George Budden, with Toby Price finishing third after a thrilling laser-run.

An early start at The University of Bath saw the boys open proceedings in the fencing salle, where Hartpury College’s Murray and Yorkshire Pentathlon’s Kieran Harby finished joint top with 16 victories and four defeats apiece.

Behind them, Alex Coveney who also currently trains and studies at Hartpury College, a Pentathlon GB Academy, and North Kent MPC’s Richard Carr both finished third with 14 victories.

In the pool, it was Millfield School’s Nick Laws who set the standard with a 2:03.13 swim, just two hundredths of a second quicker than William Swain, with Budden third quickest following a 2:08.42.

Harby’s 2:10.33, the fourth quickest swim of the competition, gave him a 14-second lead over Murray heading into the combined laser-run, with Carr just seven seconds further back in third.

Although there was a 28-second gap behind the North Kent athlete, just eight seconds covered positions fourth-eighth, which led to a fascinating final discipline.

The start of the combined laser-run saw Murray seeking to close down Harby at the front of the field, with everyone else battling and exchanging positions behind them.

Murray, younger brother of 2012 Olympic silver medallist and 2014 World champion Samantha, overhauled the Yorkshire athlete, but then had to hold off a last-lap challenge from the fast-finishing Budden, who broke free of the chasing pack.

A fantastic laser-run from Yorkshire Pentathlon’s Toby Price saw him finish third, having started the final discipline in 11th, with Leweston Pentathlon Academy’s George Case recording the quickest laser-run of the day to go finish fourth, despite starting in the first of the two laser-run heats.

Harby finished fifth ahead of Yorkshire Pentathlon teammate Josh Hood, with Swain and Laws seventh and eighth respectively.

Plymouth College’s Tomas Maksimovic came home 9th with West Midlands MPC’s Guy Anderson rounding out the top 10.