BEIJING – Canada posted its two first victories, including a win over reigning Paralympic Games champion China, on Sunday at the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championships.
After an opening day loss to the U.S. on Saturday, the Canadians defeated Switzerland 6-3 and then iced the host Chinese squad 4-2. The two wins move Canada into a six-way tie for second place with two wins and loss. Sweden is first at 3-0.
Against China, Canada – with skip Mark Ideson, Ina Forrest, Dennis Thiessen and Jon Thurston – opted to blank three ends before China stole the fourth to lead 1-0.
The Canadians responded with a score of two and a steal, taking a 3-1 lead. They forced China to one in the sixth and took one in the seventh. Up two playing the eighth, Canada ran its opponent out of rocks to claim their second win of the day.
For all teams, this world championships is also a dress rehearsal for the Paralympics. The venue is the same building where the Paralympic Games will be held in March of 2022.
“Now the goal is just really to get comfortable with the surroundings,” said Ideson. “Get comfortable being in competition again and just build momentum going into the Paralympics.”
Ideson said the opening win against the Swiss provided a confidence boost.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve been in a competitive environment, so we knew there was going to be rustiness,” he said. ‘’We’re going to build on that momentum and hopefully we can keep going.”
Round robin play continues on Monday with Canada facing Sweden and Scotland.
For more information about the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championships, including scores, schedules and team lineups, visit Worldcurling.org.
With files from Curling Canada