World champion Sam goes down fighting in difficult conditions in Berlin

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Samantha Murray fought to the end to try and defend her Modern Pentathlon World title in Berlin, in energy-sapping heat.

Murray, victorious in Warsaw last year, finished fifth in Germany, but can take great heart from her performance.

She had a terrific start to the final, recording joint first place in the pool, but suffered in the fencing as she won just 12 of her 35 bouts, leaving her 18th in the table ahead of the third event.

Murray’s riding talent shone through, however, as she produced a clear round over a tricky course, picking up just two time faults in the tight time allowed.

Every point proved valuable, as she went into the combined event in 11th place, with a 65-second handicap.

Medal contention seemed a long way off, with Germany’s Lena Schoneborn securing a nine-second advantage, after winning a record-breaking 30 of her 35 fencing bouts.

But Murray showed her fighting spirit, displaying exactly why she is a world-class pentathlete.

With her precise shooting and powerful running, Murray scored the third fastest combined time, and clawed her way to a top five finish.

Performance Director Jan Bartu was extremely pleased with how the 2012 Olympic silver medallist managed to turn her day around.

“The second half of the day was just perfect, she rode perfectly and she had an exceptionally good combined event, even by her standards. Her fencing was way below par and she couldn’t really break into the competition; you have to be up there in the fencing to be in with a chance of a medal.

“It was a really long day for the girls in the hottest day of the week, and it was almost impossible to rehydrate properly due to the demands of the schedule.

“For Sam, this will have been extremely good for her confidence ahead of the European Championships in Bath later this summer. You can see that if she is in good form in August, she will be up there contending for a medal.”