Clitheroe Olympian Samantha focussing on a medal

ALL SMILES: Samantha Murray when she was officially presented as part of Team GB's Modern Pentahlon squad last Friday
ALL SMILES: Samantha Murray when she was officially presented as part of Team GB's Modern Pentahlon squad last Friday

WORLD bronze medallist Samantha Murray saw her place in the Great Britain Modern Pentathlon Olympic team rubber-stamped on Friday at the Royal Naval College in London.

The Clitheroe athlete finished third in the World Championships in Rome last month to clinch her place at London 2012, and she will join gold medallist Mhairi Spence – another Olympic debutant – as well as Nick Woodbridge and Sam Weale in a four-strong team.

Britain have won four medals in female modern pentathlon since the women’s event was added to the Olympic programme at the Sydney Games in 2000, and Murray and Spence will fancy their chances of winning a medal in London after their performances in Rome.

Team GB Chef de Mission Andy Hunt said: “The fact that eight British athletes achieved the modern pentathlon Olympic qualification standard is a tribute to the excellent performance programme that has been developed by Pentathlon GB.

“The four athletes selected have demonstrated their great potential with impressive results at world level over the past 12 months, most notably through the gold and bronze medals won by Mhairi and Samantha respectively at the world championships.

“British modern pentathletes have an excellent track record in Olympic competition, winning four medals in the last three Games.

“We will do everything we can to support them in their quest to win a medal for the fourth consecutive Olympic Games.

“I have every confidence they will deliver inspirational performances.”

Speaking to me after her bronze medal in Rome, Samantha said: “I’ve always known I was good enough, that I could be a contender, but wow. It’s a surreal feeling – I’m an Olympian.

“For myself and Mhairi, we’re both going for medals in London, no question.

“The World Championships is arguably a stronger competition than the Olympics, but even so, you never know what will happen in competition, and all the big names will be there.

“We’re going to have a home crowd behind us though.

“I’ve got tickets for my family, and that should give me the surge to push on when I need it.

“But I should be in the form of my life, it’s all about focusing, staying healthy and hopefully injury-free now.”

The women’s event is on August 12th, and they will be the last medals won at the 2012 Olympic Games.