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Riley just misses Skills Challenge final

16 February 2016

ICE HOCKEY: Jake Riley has missed a place in the Ice Hockey Skills Final by one point to finish the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games in ninth place with nine points.

The competition was so tight and you needed to be firing in your strong skills and some luck along the way.

The 15-year-old from Adelaide was only one point off the top eight spot, so will be first reserve for the final.

He was disappointed with how he performed in the final four tests on Monday at the Kristins Hall venue in Lillehammer Olympic park.

Riley had a small slip in the Skating Agility that cost him that round and the point he was missing to progress. Ollie Curtis of New Zealand skated well to take the test by 0.04 seconds.

The Fastest Shot followed next and this as the Australians weakest event only registered the one point for completion.

He made the quarter-finals of the Passing Precision to earn two points to keep him in the hunt before going down to the red-hot Norwegian in front of his home crowd.

In the final test Riley needed to at least have one head-to-head victory in the Puck Control but again he was just off his A game and came up agonisingly close.

Despite the disappointment of not reaching the final Riley can take heart from what he has achieved.

“Jake didn’t quite nail it how he needed to today but he came in seeded 10th so he has gained a place there,” Australian Youth Coach Tamra Jones said.

“With all the hard work he has been putting in he has improved a lot since qualifying in Finland last year and from the 38 that tried out, ninth is something he should be proud of.”

Riley’s teammate Madison Poole will contest the women’s final on Tuesday night in Norway (Wednesday AM in Australia) with all six tests being held in the one session.

Andrew Reid
Olympics.com.au

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