Karateka James De los Santos bags 2 gold medals anew, gets closer to No. 1 ranking

Published September 20, 2020, 1:13 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Make it 10 golds in e-kata for De los Santos
James De Los Santos
James De los Santos (Photo from James De los Santos, File)

Former national team member James De los Santos did not disappoint as he captured two gold medals anew after ruling two separate tournaments that moved him closer on his bid to get to the top of the world ranking.

De los Santos ruled the Hatamoto Kai Mitad Del Mundo E-Tournament and the prestigious 4th SportData eTournament World Series as he edged world No. 1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.

For the second time in two months, the 30-year-old De los Santos foiled Garcia following a thrilling 24.8-24.5 triumph as the World Karate Federation posted the results late Saturday.

“I’m really happy with winning my 9th gold… and I’m happier with my 10th gold because I won it in the SportData eTournament World Series, the one that mattered the most,” De los Santos said in a message to Manila Bulletin.

“The amount of points given is x4 of the regular virtual tournaments. What made it even sweeter was facing my rival from Portugal, the current world no. 1, in the final showdown.”

Prior to the final, the world No. 2 De los Santos has 5,655 points while Garcia has 7,075 points.

Because of the points he will get – about 1600 or 400 regular points times four – the gap between the two becomes closer.

This motivates De los Santos even more as he and Japanese coach Masa Saito are doing everything to get him ready in every tournament.

“This was the fourth time I’ve faced him in a final. I have to admit; he’s not an easy opponent. But my kata coach, Masa Saito, and I really prepared for this prestigious virtual tournament,” said De los Santos, whose first win in the final against Garcia was during the Athletes E-Tournament last month.

“We trained hard… this is the key to winning the big events. But my journey continues. After winning the SportData eTournament World Series, I am much closer to that spot.”

On his way to the final, De los scored a 23.5-22.8 win against Cornelius Johnsen of Norway in the round-of-16, Jaime Teruel of the Dominican Republic 23.8-23.5 in the quarterfinal and Hugh Connolly of Ireland 24.3-23.8 in the semifinal.

Prior to ruling the SportData eTournament World Series, De los Santos bagged the gold medal in the Hatamoto Kai Mitad Del Mundo E-Tournament also Saturday with a 24.6-23.6 win against Murilo Alves of Brazil.

De los Santos now has a total of 10 gold medals as he ruled early this month the E-Champions Trophy World Series, Miyamoto Musashi Five Rings event and the 2nd Dutch Open E-Tournament.

He also won the e-Karate Games 2020 and the Athletes E-Tournament last August, the Balkan Open eTournament in July, the Korokotta Cup last June and the Palestine International Karate Cup last April.

“I’m just really happy. I am confident in our coach-athlete partnership. I appreciate the opportunity he gave me to be his coach,” said Saito.