Samantha Murray fifth at Modern Pentathlon World Cup in Rio, Brazil
London 2012 Olympic silver medalist Samantha Murray just missed out on the medals in her first Modern Pentathlon World Cup of the year, coming home in fifth place in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.
The University of Bath student had gone into the run/shoot on top of the leaderboard but her lead was whittled away by Margaux Isaksen, the USA’s world junior champion, on the second shoot and the American went on to take gold.
Olympic champion Laura Asadauskaite from Lithuania climbed from seventh to take silver.
Murray, who said ahead of the run/shoot that she was targeting a top-ten finish on her return to action after London 2012, dropped out of contention for the medals but was able to make sure of fifth. Team-mate Kate French came home 14th, with Katy Burke 28th and Mhairi Spence 33rd.
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Earlier in the day Murray had produced a strong finish to the fencing to end with 21 wins from 35 bouts, putting her in sixth place with 904 points. Fellow Olympian Spence also fenced well, winning 20 of her contests to put her eighth overall with 880 points.
Burke and French both found themselves just outside the top ten, having won 19 bouts each to put them joint 11th on 856 points.
The action then moved on to the pool, where Murray produced another strong performance to climb up to second overall.
Murray’s 200m freestyle time of 2mins 11.98secs was the fourth quickest of the day and saw her go to the riding arena just eight pentathlon points behind Poland’s Oktawia Nowacka.
Burke also swam well, with her 2:14.80 being the ninth fastest of the day and earning 1,184 points to promote her to sixth overall.
Spence stayed in the top ten courtesy of a swim of 2:18.26 - the 15th fastest of the day. It added 1,144 points to her total, putting her ninth.
French’s 2:20.22 was the 20th fastest, earning 1,120 points and seeing her go to the riding arena in 17th.
French was the first of the Brits up in the ride. Riding Cinderella, she had two fences down early on to lose 80 points from the maximum 1,200.
Spence, riding Lamaro, had seven fences down to add 920 points to her score. Burke, on board Lindaura, had thee fences down, adding 1,080 of the maximum 1,200 to her total.
Despite an early refusal on Janone, Murray then got her horse going well around the course without incurring any further penalties, adding 1,060 points to her total.
Leader Nowacka lost 200 points from the maximum to drop down to fourth on a day when only two athletes – Brazil’s Priscila Oliveira and Isaksen of the USA – went clear in the alloted time to bag the maximum 1,200 points.
That meant Murray went into the combined event at the head of the leaderboard. She started the run/shoot 34 seconds clear of Oliveira and with a 36-second advantage over Isaksen.
Burke went into the run/shoot in fifth, 41 seconds behind Murray, with French joint 11th, 57 seconds off Murray and Spence in 20th, a minute and 25 seconds off the lead.
Murray hit the five targets in six shots on her opening visit to the shooting range but couldn’t match that next time and Isaksen went into the lead on the third shoot.
Murray clocked 13:56.40 for the run shoot, with French’s 13:49.20 the best by the Brits. Burke completed the run/shoot in 15:39.20 and Spence in 15:31.40.
Today sees Joe Evans and Nick Woodbridge contest the men’s final. Evans is hoping to follow his success on his World Cup debut in California a month ago, when he won the bronze medal.
Woodbridge, who represented Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, is contesting his first World Cup of the year.