Karateka De los Santos aims for 5th gold

james de los santos
Karateka James De los Santos (Photo from James De los Santos' Facebook account)

Less than a week after winning a fourth gold medal, karate veteran James De los Santos guns for a second straight title this month and fifth overall as he competes in the Adidas Karate World Open starting Monday.

Fresh from a victory in the Athletes E-Tournament last August 12 where the world No. 2 downed top-ranked Eduardo Garcia of Portugal in the final, the former national team member said he is as usual giving his best in the coming event.

“I’m not putting any high expectations on myself. I’m just looking to give my best performance in every round,” said De los Santos in a message to Manila Bulletin.

“At the same time, don’t feel pressured and enjoy the moment – set yourself free,” added the 30-year-old veteran.

This is the third time this year that De los Santos is in the said online meet. He finished fifth in the first leg and second overall in the next where he settled for a controversial silver medal against Garcia.

In the final round of the second leg in the Adidas Karate World Open, online results showed De los Santos the winner, but after several hours organizers reversed the result after he got an email that one of the judges made an error in the scoring system.

De los Santos used that faux fax as motivation when he met Garcia again in the final of the Athletes E-Tournament last week as he received a total score of 25 points from the judges compared to Garcia’s 24.9 points.

The win gave De los Santos his fourth gold after he ruled the Balkan Open eTournament last month, Korokotta Cup last June and the Palestine International Karate Cup last April.

De los Santos, a two-time bronze medalist in the Southeast Asian Games, isn’t discounting the possibility of another final showdown against Garcia, saying: “He’s joining the tournament since I saw his name already listed.”\

READ: De los Santos eyes World No. 1 ranking in online karate