Setback fails to stop Jemma



COFFS Harbour ice hockey star Jemma Scotford's hopes of Australian selection appeared shot on Monday night.

It was the final night of trials for the 2005 Australian World Championship team and, while everyone else was on the ice doing their best to impress, Scotford, 21, sat in the grandstand nursing a pulled hamstring.

She thought that, just like her hamstring, her chance to represent Australia would have to be put on ice.

"It was very frustrating, everyone was told to give it everything in the last selection trial, but I couldn't do anything," she said.

"I tried to get onto the ice an warm up, but I just fell like a sack of potatoes.

"I was really annoyed, I kept thinking that I had missed my last shot to impress (the selectors)."

On Tuesday morning, Jemma was a much happier girl after being awarded her first Australian jersey .

Despite missing the final selection trial, Jemma was told to pack her bags for the 2005 World Championships in South Africa.

"They called me into a room and said 'welcome to team Australia 2005'," she recalled.

"It was a big surprise, I nearly fell off my chair.

"They put us all in a room and then one-by-one they called us into another room and told us if we were in or out.

"I ended up having to wait for two hours; it was the longest two hours of my life."

Her selection in the Australia team caps an incredible rise to the top for the 21-year-old, who made her State debut last October.

The Australian squad will fly to South Africa on Friday and Scotford is confident her injured hamstring will heal in time for the start of the World Championships.

She is also confident of bringing home a gold medal.

"We are in division three this year, so we won't be playing against Canada or America," she said.

"When Australia played in division three in 2003 they won the gold medal.

"We went up to division two last year but didn't do too well, so we're back in division three this year.

"We are aiming for gold this time, nothing less."



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