AN Olympic pentathlon hopeful has returned to her hometown of Clitheroe for her London 2012 qualification preparations.

Samantha Murray, who normally trains at Britain’s top modern pentathlete base at Bath University, is using the facilities at Ribblesdale Pool, in Edisford Road, to get her in top form for the May qualifiers.

Murray, 22, is looking to the world championships in Rome, where, if she manages to win a medal, she will be able to book her spot in Team GB.

And to help her get into peak form, Ribble Valley Council is allowing Murray to use the facilities at Ribblesdale Pool free of charge.

Murray said: “It is definitely nice to be home.

“I have just come back from a world cup so I have come home to see my family.”

Murray, who is studying French and politics at the same time as training 30 hours every week for her place at London 2012, first found her sporting talent at the Dolphins club.

She said the facilities on offer in the area were what gave her the opportunity to turn her hobbies into a career.

She said: “I came to Clitheroe Dolphins and a guy who helped out asked my mum if I would like to try a biathlon.

“I ran for England a few times and there is a shooting range really close to here – it just took off from there.”

She said that at the moment she was strong in the running and swimming events and was a consistent rider as she had done it from a young age.

In the modern pentathlete, athletes have to compete in five disciplines – fencing, 200 metre freestyle swimming, horse riding and a 3,000 metre run combined with pistol shooting.

Samantha said that if she doesn’t qualify for 2012, she will keep training and set her sights on the games in Rio in 2016.

She said: “It is the pinnacle of an athlete’s career to go to the games.

“I just keep going and prepare for what’s coming – it is all part of the job.”