South Surrey distance runner Luc Bruchet is Brazil-bound after qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics Thursday in Edmonton.
Bruchet, a 26-year-old Elgin Park Secondary grad, placed second in the men’s 5,000-m race at Athletics Canada Olympic Trials to automatically qualify for the Games, set to begin Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro.
Bruchet crossed the finish line with a time of 14 minutes, 2.368 seconds, behind only Canadian champion Mohammed Ahmed.
On his Twitter account after the race, Bruchet posted, “I’m going to RIO!!!” and followed that with a further posts where he said he was “super pumped” while also acknowledging the help he’s received along the way.
“Thanks to everyone for the kind words and support,” Bruchet wrote. “It takes a village to build an Olympian, I wouldn’t be here without the help of so many.”
Bruchet is a University of B.C. track and field alum who also represented Canada at the Pan-Am Games last summer in Toronto. He spent this past winter altitude training in Arizona.
Another South Surrey athlete, Tyrell Mara, was also in Edmonton, competing in discus.
The former White Rock Christian Academy basketball and track star had not competed in track and field in years, but decided last year to make a return to the sport.
Despite dealing with the nerves associated with competing at such a high-level event, Mara won bronze in the men’s discus, narrowly missing a berth at the Olympics but setting a 1.5-m personal-best.
“One small step closer” to qualifying for the next Olympics in 2020, he wrote last weekend.
Bruchet will be joined at the Rio Olympics by two more Semiahmoo Peninsula natives – swimmer Hilary Caldwell and open-water marathon swimmer Richard Weinberger – as well as long-jumper Christabel Nettey, a north Surrey long-jumper.
Weinberger – who now lives and trains in Vancouver – won a a bronze medal in the 10-km swim at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and last month scored a bronze-medal placing at a FINA World Cup event in Hungary.
– with files from Nick Greenizan