Canadian speed skaters Dubreuil, Maltais win gold at Four Continents Championships

Canada's Laurent Dubreuil, shown in this March 2022 file photo, took gold in the men's 500m on Friday in Quebec City. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press - image credit)
Canada's Laurent Dubreuil, shown in this March 2022 file photo, took gold in the men's 500m on Friday in Quebec City. (Peter Dejong/Associated Press - image credit)

Canadians Laurent Dubreuil and Valerie Maltais skated to gold medals on Friday in Quebec City at the ISU Four Continents Championships.

Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., won the men's 500-metres in a time of 34.462 seconds.

Japan's Yuma Murakami, who trained with the Canadian team in Quebec City this past summer, won silver (34.880), while Korea's Jun-Ho Kim (34.978) captured the bronze.

Dubreuil won an Olympic silver medal in the men's 1,000m event earlier this year in Beijing.

"This first international race in Quebec City was a lot of fun. We've been waiting for it for a long time and I'm happy I was able to deliver a good performance today. It was a good race in general," Dubreuil said.

"I really wanted to perform well because there were a lot of people that came to watch me skate. It was a definitely a memorable moment after my victory, with the fans cheering on and my family ... in the stands."

WATCH | Laurent Dubreuil wins 500m gold in hometown Quebec City:

Maltais followed up Dubreuil's performance by capturing her first international senior gold in the women's 3,000 metres with a time of four minutes 3.150 seconds.

"It's very special to win an individual distance medal in long track. Today, my approach was to believe that I could win, something that I've never had in an individual distance since I switched to long track. That approach gave me good energy, and not only did I win today, but I skated a season best time and executed one of my best-ever races," Maltais said.

"Being able to win at home was amazing. There was really a special energy in the building. The fans were cheering so loudly that you could feel it each time you skated by the stands on the straight."

Hometown skater Béatrice Lamarche recorded a personal best of 4:10.666 to win bronze in the same race, while Kazakhstan's Nadezhda Morozova (4:05.517) raced to silver.

WATCH | Valerie Maltais wins 3,000m gold in home province: 

Maltais is ninth in the 2022-23 long-distance women's rankings.

Canada's Jordan Belchos also reached the podium on home ice, grabbing bronze in the men's 5,000-metres.

Belchos' time of 6:24 placed him behind gold medallist Vitaliy Chshigolev of Kazakhstan and Korean skater Seung-Hoon Lee, who took silver.

Skating in the final heat, Toronto's Belchos pushed Canadian teammate Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu off the podium and into fourth by less than one second.

Canadian teams reach podium

The day ended with the two team events, both of which resulted in medals for Canada's men's and women's team sprint squads.

Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola and Hubert Marcotte won the gold medal in the men's team sprint event, besting the Americans who came in second and the Koreans who took home the bronze.

Canada's Rose Laliberte-Roy, Alison Desmarais and Abigail McCluskey came away with the bronze medal in the women's event. The Americans finished ahead of the Canadians for silver, while the Chinese team topped the podium

WATCH | Canadian men capture team sprint gold: