Poole through to Skills final and capable of more

15 February 2016

ICE HOCKEY: Madison Poole is through to the final of the Skills Challenge at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games.

The 15-year-old from Perth qualified in third spot with 16 points from the six skills over two days. The Austrian athlete was two points ahead (18) the Japanese competitor has 17.

Poole was third ranked after the qualifying tournament in Finland and had not considered not progressing to the top eight het in Norway.

“I didn’t think about not making the final to be honest even though the competition is so tough,” Poole said.

“Today overall wasn’t the best and there are lots of places I think I can improve, but I got a lot of points so that’s good.”

Poole felt from today she could improve on Passing Accuracy and Puck Control. The Fastest Shot was again her weakest skill but she is pleased with how that skill is improving.

“I play forward in a game so my shots are up close to goal. I have had to teach myself how to slap stick for this Skills Challenge and I am proud of how it is looking.

Poole will contest the final on Tuesday with all six skills tested in the one session. It is being held at night so it is expected there will be a big crowd as the rink is so close to the Village.

“I hope there is a big crowd for the final. Already today was the biggest crowd I think I have played in front of.

“It could be one of the best experiences ever if the stands are packed.”

No doubt the whole Australian Team will be cheering along with the Poole family who have travelled to be part of this Youth Olympic Games.

Poole will train on Monday and cheer for her Australian teammate Jake Riley who sits in equal fifth with his four remainig skills to complete.

Andrew Reid

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