Samantha Murray is the new modern pentathlon world champion!
West Bradford’s Samantha, 24, became only the fourth British woman to win individual Modern Pentathlon World Championship gold in Warsaw on Friday, on the back of winning bronze at the 2012 World Championships in Rome and silver at the London 2012 Olympics.
Her performance included a modern pentathlon short course world record for the 200m freestyle.
“It doesn’t feel real,” said Samantha. “I’ve worked so hard for this and I’ve been aiming for this competition for a while. To be able to say I’m world champion is absolutely fantastic. I dreamed of this so often and now my dream has come true.
“When I started to relax and smile, 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.
“My 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 many people.”
Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “It was a world class performance. It’s fantastic to see her back because it hasn’t been easy for her over the last year.
“She decided to go for it and this is the reward for the hard work. She showed maximum composure in the combined event. From her first shot she was absolutely relaxed and she kept a fantastic rhythm.”
Samantha started her campaign by winning 18 of her 34 fencing bouts to put her joint 14th. She then produced a storming swim to climb to second place, with her time of 2:03.84 a 200m freestyle modern pentathlon world record in a short course pool.
Samantha kept up her momentum with a steady round in the riding arena as she went clear, but incurred six time penalties to go into the combined event in third, 16 seconds behind leader Sarolta Kovacs.
On the run/shoot, Samantha moved 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.
And there was a double celebration as Samantha, Freyja Prentice and Kate French’s performances saw Great Britain take team silver behind China.