Sam returns to action as she aims to go one better in Rio

Samantha Murray in Bath in preparation for this weekend's competition in Budapest (s).
Samantha Murray in Bath in preparation for this weekend's competition in Budapest (s).

As we enter Olympic year, Samantha Murray faces her first international competition of 2016 over the weekend.

The London 2012 modern pentathlon silver medalist – and 2014 World champion – is in action at the Budapest Indoor International.

The event starts today, and runs until Sunday.

There follows the World Cup series, with the first competition coming at the end of February, in Cairo, Egypt.

Last week, the West Bradford athlete won the women’s second National Ranking Competition at the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village, Pentathlon GB’s National Training Centre.

She delivered a convincing performance, leading the entire competition from start to finish.

Murray was typically strong in the pool, where she was fastest overall, before recording 26 victories from her 39 fencing bouts, the most of anyone competing – one more than Kate French and Georgina Summers, who were second and third respectively.

In the ride, she scored 292 to extend her lead to 48 seconds over French, 51 over Summers and 54 over Georgia Pipes before the combined event.

Jess Varley was the only athlete to score the maximum 300 points in the ride, with Charlie Follett suffering just three time penalties to score 297, moving them up to sixth and fifth respectively.

However, a thrilling final discipline materialised as French and Summers closed down Murray, and the three exchanged places throughout the 3,200m course, with all leading at various times.

It was Murray who came out on top eventually, finishing four seconds clear of French, with Summers a further 17 seconds back in third.

Pipes held on to fourth with Joanna Muir rounding out the top five.

In the first National Ranking Competition last month, Murray was fourth, behind French, Freyja Prentice and Georgina Summers, having again won the swim and finishing fifth in the fence.