Karateka De los Santos stuns World No. 1, bags 4th medal

Published August 12, 2020, 2:00 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Third time’s the charm for De los Santos
james de los santos
Former national team member James De los Santos (Photo from James De Los Santos)

Filipino karateka veteran James de los Santos finally found a way to beat rival Eduardo Garcia of Portugal that gave him his fourth gold in ruling the Athletes E-Tournament.

De los Santos received a total score of 25 points from the judges as compared to Garcia’s 24.9 points after the two submitted their respective videos for the finals match last Tuesday

This marked the first time De los Santos defeated Garcia – the No. 1 ranked player in the world – after two setbacks in the finals, including a controversial one last month.

“I’m really happy with the result,” said the 30-year-old De los Santos in a message to Manila Bulletin after the final result was posted online Wednesday morning.

“This is the third time I’ve faced Eduardo Garcia in a final match. My first two times were unlucky. Then at the third time, my kata coach from Japan, Masa Saito, and my parents suggested I use a different kata for this final.”

“So I used my favorite kata, Unsu, and I finally got him. I’m currently No. 2, and he’s the No. 1, which is why I’m very happy with the result. But it doesn’t stop there – I’ll continue to train harder for the next tournaments.”

The former national team member lost to Garcia in the Adidas Karate World Open Series E-Tournament.

The result initially had him the winner, but the following day it declared Garcia the champion.

De los Santos said the organizers informed him of an error in one of the judges’ scoring. He also lost to Garcia in the SportData E-Tournament World Series finals last May.

De los Santos beat Angel Sanchez of Bolivia in the semifinal round, 24.6-24.5, and Alfredo Bustamante of the US in the quarterfinals 24.8-24, after he earned a bye in the round of 16.

With the win, De los Santos has now won four golds for the Philippines after the Balkan Open eTournament, the Korokotta Cup last June and the Palestine International Karate Cup last April.

READ: De los Santos jumps to No. 2 in e-kata world ranking