Sam helps win team silver

Clitheroe athlete Samantha Murray was 17th at the Senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Sofia
Clitheroe athlete Samantha Murray was 17th at the Senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Sofia
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Samantha Murray helped Team GB claim team silver at the Senior Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Sofia at the weekend.

The 2014 World champion and 2012 Olympic silver medalist was 17th in the individual competition, with teammates Joanna Muir fifth and Kate French 10th, to finish second team overall.

Defending champion Laura Asadauskaite retained the title she won in Bath last year.

Murray comfortably qualified for the final, with the West Bradford athlete 12th in Group A, having had to borrow other athletes’ equipment after her luggage was left at a UK airport and didn’t arrive in Bulgaria until late in the day!

Murray started her day in the fencing salle, where she sat eighth after 11 victories.

Then in the pool, Murray’s time of 2:11.13 was the quickest in the group, leaving her second overall.

And she finished 12th after the combined run and shoot,

The Women’s final started again with the fencing ranking round.

French was the top Brit with 23 victories and 12 defeats, leaving her fifth overnight.

European Championships debutant Muir recorded 18 victories to finish the discipline in 12th, with Murray 23rd after securing 15 hits.

The trio returned to the competition venue on another sweltering day in the Bulgarian capital, starting the day with the 200m freestyle swim.

All three produced strong performances in the pool with Murray’s time of 2:09.89 the second quickest of the day, moving her up to 10th in the overall standings.

French’s 2:19.21 and Muir’s 2:16.58 meant the duo remained in fifth and 12th respectively after the second discipline.

All three GB athletes then enjoyed success in the fencing bonus round, with Muir winning two bouts to gain an extra two points, and French and Murray both picking up a single extra point apiece.

In the ride, Muir knocked down a single pole to pick up 293 points, with Murray collecting 286 and French 273.

This meant Gravesend’s French headed into the combined event in eighth, 41 seconds behind leader Katsiaryna Arol from Belarus.

Dumfries’ Muir started a single place and single second behind her GB teammate with Clitheroe’s Murray six seconds further back in 13th.

A brilliant run-shoot from Muir saw her rise to fifth, a career best performance at major competitions.

In a tightly-bunched field, French crossed the line 10th, with Murray 17th in their final performances before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where 36 athletes will compete on August 19th and 20th at Deodoro Aquatics Centre, Deodoro Stadium and Youth Arena.

Lithuanian Asadauskaite came from fifth at the start of the combined event to retain her European title, with Russia’s Gulnaz Gubaydullina claiming silver and Turkish teenager Ilke Ozyuksel taking bronze.