Bevan Docherty, of New Zealand, crosses the finish line to win among elite men at the ITU Triathlon World Cup in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday, July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Ulan)

What better way to kick off the 100-day countdown until the 2012 Summer Olympics than to announce that a Santa Cruz athlete has qualified to go. Bevan Docherty, one of only two men to hold two Olympic medals in triathlon, will look to add gold to his silver and bronze this summer.

Docherty, who has been living and training in Santa Cruz since 2010, was given the nod by his native New Zealand late Tuesday night. Last weekend, he finished 12th in an ITU World Triathlon Series race in Sydney, which improved his chances for one of the country’s likely three Olympic berths. Kris Gemmell, who raced in 2008 in Beijing, took the automatic qualification by finishing sixth, and as the top Kiwi, in Sydney.

“After winning bronze in Beijing to go with my silver from Athens I made it clear the only thing missing was the gold to go with the collection.

“I have not wavered from that thought; that is my goal, to go to London and win gold. I am as excited about this opportunity as any in my career,” Docherty, 35, said in a statement.

If New Zealand secures a third berth, that spot will be filled by Ryan Sissons.