Make it six gold medals for James De los Santos.
The online karate sensation defeated Domont Matias Romero of Switzerland in the final 25.7-24.5 to rule the E-Champions Trophy World Series event as results were posted Sunday.
“Honestly, it gets nerve-wracking when you have to wait… until the result is revealed,” said De los Santos, whose video entry for the final was submitted last Saturday.
“But I always tell myself that as long as I gave my best, then everything will be fine. Now, it really feels amazing to win my sixth gold. The hard work is really paying off for me.”
The former national team member earned a final slot following a semifinal win against Scott Taylor of Canada via default when the latter’s video was not approved by the judges.
The 30-year-old De los Santos, the world No. 2 ranked player in the world e-kata, downed Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa 24.9-24.3 during their quarterfinal round encounter.
De los Santos has now won two gold medals this month as he also bagged the e-Karate Games 2020 title with an impressive 25.9-23.4 victory over Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia last Thursday.
The other tournaments De Los Santos ruled were the Athletes E-Tournament last month, the Balkan Open eTournament last July, the Korokotta Cup last June, and the Palestine International Karate Cup last April.
Masa Saito, the Japanese coach of De los Santos, said he wants his athletes to continue improving – the only way to achieve the goal to become the No. 1 player in e-kata.
“Strength is not the number of medals we earn. We don’t stop until the kata is mastered,” said Saito. “As what I see in James, he really is improving. But we still have to work hard to reach No. 1.”
With his latest victory, De los Santos is expected to get additional points for his world ranking as he moves closer to current No. 1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal, who he stunned in the Athletes E-Tournament final.
De los Santos, who uses the MKKPI Honbu Dojo as venue for all his events, is currently in the final of two more online meets, the 2nd Dutch Open E-Tournament and the Miyamoto Musashi-Five Rings E-Tournament.