Maltais, Gélinas-Beaulieu golden at speed skating's Four Continents Championships

Canadian speed skater Valerie Maltais skated to a gold medal in the women's mass start at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Quebec City on Saturday. (Greg Kolz/Speed Skating Canada - image credit)
Canadian speed skater Valerie Maltais skated to a gold medal in the women's mass start at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Quebec City on Saturday. (Greg Kolz/Speed Skating Canada - image credit)

Antoine Gélinas-Beaulieu and Valérie Maltais continued Canada's speed skating gold medal haul on Saturday at the ISU Four Continents Championships in Quebec City.

Gélinas-Beaulieu, a Sherbrooke, Que., native, skated to the top of the podium in the men's 1,500-metre final while setting a track record, finishing in one minute 44.666 seconds.

"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," Gélinas-Beaulieu said.

"It hurts, it hurts a lot, but there's a lot of potential when you race the 1,500-metre 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."

Ottawa's Jake Weidemann finished 2.47 seconds behind Gélinas-Beaulieu, good enough for the bronze medal.

WATCH | Gélinas-Beaulieu tops the men's 1,500m podium:

Maltais followed it up by capturing her second gold medal in as many days, winning the women's mass start in 9:14.700.

Saturday's gold medal-performance was the 32-year-old's best-ever international result in the mass start, besting her fifth-place finish from a few weeks ago at the World Cup in Heerenveen, Netherlands.

"I'm very happy with my race today. It's a completely different style of race than what we see at the World Cups," Maltais said.

"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."

WATCH | Maltais claims another gold, wins mass start:

Earlier in the day, Alison Desmarais, of Vanderhoof, B.C., skated to bronze in the women's 1,500 in a time of 1:58.260.

Canada captured six medals on Friday.

Laurent Dubreuil, of Levis, Que., won the men's 500-metres, while Maltais, of Saguenay, Que., captured her first international senior gold in the women's 3,000 metres.

Hometown skater Béatrice Lamarche recorded a personal best to win bronze in the same race as Maltais, while Jordan Belchos grabbed bronze in the men's 5,000-metres.

Belchos finished fourth in the men's mass start on Saturday, 0.300 seconds off the podium (8:16.790).

Canada's men's and women's team sprint squads also came away with medals on Friday.

Dubreuil, Christopher Fiola and David La Rue won the gold medal in the men's team sprint event, while Canada's Rose Laliberte-Roy, Alison Desmarais and Abigail McCluskey came away with the bronze medal in the women's event.

WATCH | Canadian men capture team sprint gold: