Canadian Paralympic athlete Mark Ideson poses for a photo at the Paralympic Summit in Calgary, Alta., Monday, June 5, 2017. Canada's Mark Ideson dropped a 6-4 decision to American Matthew Thums in the opening game for both teams Saturday at the world wheelchair curling championship. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canada’s Ideson drops opener to U.S. at world wheelchair curling championship

BEIJING — Canada’s Mark Ideson dropped a 6-4 decision to American Matthew Thums in the opening game for both teams Saturday at the world wheelchair curling championship.

Thums took a three-point lead into the eighth end but Canada had a chance to force an extra end as several rocks were in play. Canadian fourth Jon Thurston tried an angle-raise takeout to force a tie but it was off the mark.

“It’s obviously not the start we’d hoped for,” Ideson said. “But the fact that we were able to be out there competing after so long, it was actually really exciting for us.

“We’ll take what we can from that game, and try to build on it for the rest of the week.”

It was the first competitive game in 20 months for the team of Ideson, Thurston, third Ina Forrest and second Dennis Thiessen. Pandemic restrictions also prevented the squad from holding a proper training camp until last August.

Canada will play Switzerland and host China in round-robin games on Sunday at the Ice Cube. The competition is serving as a test event for the 2022 Beijing Olympics and Paralympic Winter Games.