Sumantha Murray aims for Mexico final

Samantha Murray
Samantha Murray

Clitheroe’s Samantha Murray is the most experienced member of the eight-strong British team contesting the first modern pentathlon World Cup of 2014 at Acapulco in Mexico this week.

London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray, at 24, heads a team in which half the athletes are 21 or younger.

Murray, currently ranked 16th in the world, is joined in the women’s team by Kate French, whose 10th place finishes in the individual competitions at last year’s World and European Championships saw her climb to 21st in the world rankings.

Two Scots complete the GB line-up for the women’s competition – Freyja Prentice, who returned from injury to finish fourth at last year’s Europeans, and 19-year-old Jo Muir, who made her World Cup debut in Palm Springs a year ago, and now contests her second World Cup.

Jamie Cooke is joined by Joe Evans, Sam Curry and Tom Toolis, for the men.

Jan Bartu, Pentathlon GB Performance Director, said: “This is the second year of the Olympic cycle leading up to Rio, so the bar is rising gradually for athletes.

“They all have a lot more experience now and we expect them to show a good international standard at the first World Cup of the season.”

Bartu said current world rankings – based on results over the last 12 months – should not be considered pointer to performances in coming events. “Each season everyone starts again on zero really, it’s an open book.

“They need to forget what’s happened in the past.

“It’s a new season with new dynamics.”

Women’s qualification took place yesterday, with Murray hoping to be in action tomorrow in the women’s final, ahead of the mixed relay competition on Sunday.