STEPH Cook, Kate Allenby, Georgina Harland and Heather Fell – these might not be names that strike too many chords with the British public but they were etched firmly into Samantha Murray’s mind heading into the capital.
Ever since women were allowed to compete in modern pentathlon at the 2000 Games in Sydney, the Union Jack has been hoisted above the Olympic podium.
Cook and Allenby got the ball rolling in style with gold Down Under and ever since Harland and Fell have lived up to the billing, although none being able to reclaim the top step for Great Britain.
And as if there wasn’t already enough pressure heading into the capital, add the fact that Clitheroe girl Murray was just one of two alongside Mhairi Spence to get selected when five Brit girls had achieved the qualifying standard, then you could have excused the youngest member of Team GB’s modern pentathlon squad from suffering from jitters after having to wait until the final day of the Olympics to get going.
But with the unlucky three of Beijing bronze medallist Fell, Freyja Prentice and Katy Burke watching on Murray didn’t disappoint, stamping her own mark on an already well-trodden path, breathing a huge sigh of relief every step of the way.
“The biggest thing going into these Games was the huge pressure I felt on what had gone before me with the fantastic success British women have had in this event and it was definitely on my mind,” Murray said.
“You have to have a tough brain and a tough mind and you have to really be prepared for anything and just get on with it and I am delighted I managed to do that.
“I am just so happy to add my name to that list, the guys I watched growing up and hopefully I have done my part to inspire young people.
“I like to think I have played my part in securing the longevity of this sport and that is just as wonderful as winning the medal itself.”
* Lloyds TSB, proud supporter of Team GB and proud partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Get closer to the Games at lloydstsb.com/london2012