Long distance speed skating Valerie Maltais wins her first medal

Long distance speed skating: Valérie Maltais wins her first medal in the 3000 m

(Sportcom) – Long-distance speed skater Valérie Maltais was unaware of what she had just accomplished when she crossed the 3,000m finish line at the World Cup in Salt Lake City.

With her hands on her knees, out of breath, she first looked at the scoreboard and then flashed a broad smile when she saw that she was a medalist in this World Cup event for the first time in her career. World.

The Quebecer covered the distance in 3 minutes and 59.71 seconds and took third place on the podium on Friday. She finished 2.85 seconds behind gold medalist Joy Beune of the Netherlands, while Irene Schouten, also of the Netherlands, was 1.34 seconds behind her compatriot.

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Maltais introduced a new method during a Canada Cup in Quebec in early January. She asked her coach Muncef Ouardi to give her more information during her 3000-meter races. A tracker for her rankings that she can then use to motivate herself on the ice, as was the case at the Olympic oval in Salt Lake City.

“He kept telling me I was two seconds away from first. It really gives me energy! It ensures that when you are really exhausted at the end, you give it your all,” said Valérie Maltais, happy to have achieved the goal she set for herself at the beginning of the season.

“After every 3000m race I was able to re-evaluate it. It's a trial aimed at the World Cup, so I'm glad it's happening at this time, a few weeks before the World Cup! It just confirms to me that everything we’ve been working on is working well.”

She had barely finished her race when Valérie Maltais thought about what she needed to correct for the next race. The athlete from La Baie then agreed with her coach that she had to take the time to enjoy the moment. To enjoy this first medal in the 3000m run.

In addition to her success in the team pursuit, she had already won two individual medals this season, at the mass starts in Beijing and Stavanger. In the 3000 m run, his seventh place finish despite a tactical error in Japan suggested good performance for the future.

“Tactically speaking, it seems like I was still looking for him. In the 3000m I like to set my pace and maintain it, but I've always worked to achieve it,” explained the woman who defended her Four Continents championship title in this event at the same venue last weekend.

The event also allowed him to record certain information and adapt well to Salt Lake City's altitude.

“Last week I drove too fast and my lap times dropped. Today I just never stopped. I felt good physically. I had the confidence to tell myself to keep working and I felt like it would pay off.”

The action continues on Saturday, particularly with the presentation of the team pursuit.