Weekend wrap-up: Smooth start for Canada at Wheelchair Curling World Championships

Canadian Paralympic Committee

March 04, 2024

Para biathlon worlds start Tuesday in Prince George, B.C.

Ideson 2024 worlds

GANGNEUNG, South Korea – Canada has opened the 2024 Wheelchair Curling World Championships with four wins in five games to stand second in the 12-country preliminary round standings.

Canada, last year’s silver medallists, opened the tournament Saturday with a 9-6 victory over South Korea then defeated Slovakia 6-4 and Italy 8-3 on Sunday. Its first loss was Monday morning to defending champions China 6-4 but Canada bounced back to beat Estonia 7-5 later Monday.

Latvia currently tops the standings with a 5-0 record followed by the Canadians, China and South Korea at 4-1.

“China is a good team and they always play really well against us,” said Canada’s skip and lead Mark Ideson of London, Ont., on Monday. “Estonia gave us a run there, they put a lot of pressure on us as the game went on. We managed to play the scoreboard and gave ourselves a chance in the end, so it’s nice to get that win,”

Gil Dash of Wolseley, Sask., shoots second for Canada followed by Ina Forrest of Spallumcheen, B.C., and fourth Jon Thurston of Dunsford, Ont. Chrissy Molnar (Trent Lakes, Ont.) is the fifth.

It’s a 14th consecutive worlds for Forrest a four-time Winter Paralympian.

The preliminaries pass the midway mark Tuesday when Canada faces the U.S. (Tuesday, 12 a.m. ET) and Scotland (Tuesday, 5 a.m. ET).

The top six teams from the round robin advance to the playoffs, with the top two receiving a bye while the remaining four play in the first round. The gold and bronze medal games will take place Friday, March 8 at 9 p.m. ET.

All games will be available to watch on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/@curling1 .

Para biathlon world championships start Tuesday in Prince George, B.C.

Prince George, B.C., is set to host the inaugural Para biathlon world championships March 5-10 at the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club in Prince George, B.C.

The five member Canadian team will be a powerful one. 

It is led by 12-time Paralympic Games medallist Mark Arendz, undefeated in the biathlon on the World Cup circuit this season. Joining the Canadian legend are Natalie Wilkie of Salmon Arm, B.C., Brittany Hudak of Prince Albert, Sask., Collin Cameron of Bracebridge, Ont, – all Games medallists. 

The fifth member is Derek Zaplotinsky of Smokey Lake, Alta., enjoying the best season of his career in 2024.

‘’There’s a lot of excitement around the races,’’ said Hudak, a three-time Paralympian, with a gold, silver and bronze in this season’s biathlon World Cup races. ‘’The adrenaline is so high that you kind of just do it. This is a tough course with a lot of climbing sections and the descents are very technical.’’

The Opening Ceremony is on Tuesday and the first races are on Wednesday.

All five will be joined by seven other teammates for the Para nordic World Cup Final which follow at the same venue March 13-17. 

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