Samantha Murray: Modern pentathlon champion almost quit

By Nick HopeBBC Olympic sports reporter
GB's Samantha Murray wins World Championship gold

New world champion Samantha Murray admits she considered quitting modern pentathlon before securing her maiden title.

Murray had struggled for form since winning Olympic silver at London 2012, finishing outside of the medals at two subsequent European Championships.

She was also 14th at the 2013 worlds before victory in Warsaw, Poland.

"This year has been tough and I've thought about walking away, giving it all up," Murray, 24, told BBC Sport.

"Once you have been on the podium, everyone else thinks you have failed and you think you have failed if you're not up there again.

"How can I [stop] now though? I've won and I'm on top of the world."

Bath-based Murray, who set a record 200m freestyle swimming time in her world title win, admits she struggled to deal with the attention winning an Olympic medal had brought.

Murray's road to the world title
2012 London Olympics: 2nd
2012 World Championships: 3rd
2013 European Championships: 7th
2013 World Championships: 14th
2014 European Championships: 8th
2014 World Championships: 1st

"Before I was just your average 22 year old who dreamed big," Murray, who is from Clitheroe, Lancashire, said.

"Since the Games I've cracked a little under the pressure of suddenly being somebody in sport and not been able to convert winning positions.

"I feel I've kind of grown into these shoes now."

Retired modern pentathlete Heather Fell had a similar rise to fame within the sport after claiming Olympic silver for Great Britain at the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.

She has been impressed by the character Murray has shown and believes she can take "amazing" confidence from her World Championship win, heading into the Rio Olympic Games qualification period next year.

"This year hasn't been great but she hasn't let it faze her," said Fell.

"She has performed when it really mattered and I don't know where the limit is for her at the moment."

Murray is only the fourth British woman to claim the world title in the event, which also includes fencing, show-jumping and a combined run-shoot.

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