Sam wins prestigious award

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Samantha Murray crowned an incredible 12 months as she was named the winner of the British Modern Pentathlon Olympic Athlete of the Year Award.

The 23-year-old was the recipient of the award at a special Pentathlon GB dinner in Bath last Wednesday night, following her incredible exploits in winning her first World Cup medal, followed by bronze at the World Championships in Rome, and and silver at London 2012.

Most memorable of all, on the final day of the Olympic Games, the West Bradford athlete collected Team GB’s final medal of a spectacular 16 days as she finished second to Lithuania’s Laura Asadauskaite at Greenwich Park.

And Samantha said: “It was a great night and a really great honour to receive the trophy and the recognition for what I’ve achieved this year.”

The awards nights didn’t stop there either, with Samantha attending Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year event at the ExCel Arena in London Docklands -one of the Olympic venues.

Samantha, who is back in town this weekend with Jon Schofield to receive personalised pieces of artwork marking their success at the London 2012 Olympics from Ribble Valley Council at the Platform Gallery, in Station Road, started the year ranked 78th in the world, but goes into 2013 number three in the senior world rankings, having topped the 2012 World Cup rankings.

Her year gained momentum in April, finishing fourth in the World Cup in Hungary - narrowly missing out on her first medal.

However, a week later she claimed bronze in the fourth World Cup of the year in Russia.

Then came the third-place finish at the 2012 World Championships in Rome, which all but guaranteed her place at London 2012.

And on August 12th, a lifetime’s ambition was achieved, competing in the Greatest Show on Earth, and bringing home a silver medal.

She is the fifth British woman to win an Olympic medal in Modern Pentathlon, after her heroine Steph Cook, Kate Allenby, Georgina Harland and Heather Fell.

At the awards in Bath, Samantha still faced tough competition from Mhairi Spence, who won gold in Rome, but her magnificent efforts were rewarded when she received the Athlete of the Year trophy, provided by the British Olympic Association.

You can read Samantha’s thoughts on her wonderful year, and her hopes for the future in a special feature in next week’s Clitheroe Advertiser, which will be available on Monday.