Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu, Valérie Maltais golden at Four Continents Championships
QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC – Canada won four medals on the second day of racing at the ISU Four Continents Speed Skating Championships in Quebec City, including gold from both Valérie Maltais and Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu.
Maltais (La Baie, Que.) conserved her energy throughout much of the slow moving race, before breaking away from the pack with two laps remaining and sprinting her way to the top of the nine-skater field in a time of 9:14.700. Saturday’s gold medal performance was the 32-year-old’s best international result in the Mass Start, besting her fifth-place finish from a few weeks ago at the World Cup in Heerenveen.
After finishing just off the podium in Friday’s 5000m, Gélinas-Beaulieu delivered a track record en route to gold in the men’s 1500m. The native of Sherbrooke crossed with line in 1:44.666, besting Connor Howe’s mark from this past October. It marked the first international medal in the distance for Gélinas-Beaulieu, who had until now only stood on the World Cup and World Championships podium in the Mass Start and Team Sprit.
Joining Gélinas-Beaulieu on the podium were Dmitry Morozov of Kazakhstan (1:46.305) and fellow Canada Jake Weidemann (1:47.405), who won his second-career Four Continents Championships bronze medal in the distance, having previously won in Milwaukee in 2020.
Alison Desmarais (Vanderhoof, B.C.) was also a medalist in the 1500m, brining home bronze in the women’s race to capture the first international long track medal of her career an in individual distance.The 25-year old, who previously competed internationally in short track, posted a time of 1:58.260, putting her behind only Kazakhstan skaters Yekaterina Aydova (1:57.528) and Nadezhda Morozova (1:56.378) on the podium. It was Desmarais’ second medal of the weekend, having also captured bronze yesterday’s Team Spring alongside Rose Laliberté-Roy and Abigail McCluskey.
The competition concludes tomorrow with the men’s and women’s 1000m and Team Pursuit, beginning at 1:00pm ET. Tickets are still available at longuepiste.ca. Racing will be live streamed on CBC Sports and Radio-Canada Sports.
“I didn’t have any expectations today in terms of medals or track records, I just really wanted to start fast. In most of my races so far this season, I was more conservative, but today I wanted to go all-out from the very beginning. It hurts, it hurts a lot, but there’s a lot of potential when you race the 1500m that way. I know this is the way to race this distance for me and if I continue to do it, I know I can be competitive on the international stage. And to see a track record is a very good sign for me moving forward.” – Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu
“I’m very happy with my race today. It’s a completely different style of race than what we see at the World Cups. My objective was to be patient and pick up the speed at the end of the race. It’s something that I need to work on – learning to time my sprint properly and picking up enough speed to end the race – and today I think I succeeded in doing that.” – Valérie Maltais
- Women’s 1500m
- Alison Desmarais: 3rd
- Abigail McCluskey: 6th
- Maddison Pearman: 14th
- Men’s 1500m
- Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu: 1st
- Jake Weidemann: 3rd
- Hubert Marcotte: 10th
- Women’s Mass Start
- Valerie Maltais: 1st
- Laura Hall: 7th
- Men’s Mass Start
- Jordan Belchos: 4th
- Max Halyk: 10th
Speed Skating Canada