De los Santos nears No. 1 spot with 12th gold in Venice Cup

Published September 30, 2020, 12:29 PM

by Waylon Galvez

James de los Santos is on a roll this September. (Photo from James de los Santos Facebook account)

World No. 2 James De los Santos capped the month of September with his seventh online gold medal and 12th overall after he downed Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia in the final, 25.2-23.7, of the Venice Cup 2020.

The victory of the 30-year-old De los Santos, a former national team member, moved him closer to the No. 1 position in the world ranking, which currently has Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.

The results were posted on the webpage of the World Karate Federation Tuesday night.

Photo from James de los Santos Facebook account.

“My 12th gold has brought me a lot closer to the No. 1 spot,” said De los Santos. “Back in August, I became the No. 2 virtual kata player. But I was trailing behind the No. 1 spot by nearly 3000 points.”

“Now, I’ve really come this far. I’m surprised with myself. I just need at least two more tournaments to claim that spot,” added De los Santos, who has 7675 points while Garcia has 8125 points.

De los Santos earned a spot in the final with a default win over Domont Matias Moreno of Switzerland in the semifinal. He also defeated Kevin Petry of Luxembourg, 22.4-22.9, in the quarterfinal, and Scott Taylor of Canada, 23.9-21.8, in the round of 16 stage.

Just like the previous month, October will continue to be a busy schedule for De los Santos.

“I checked the October calendar, I think there are eight to nine tournaments. I’m sure it’ll be the same for November and December,” said De los Santos, who is also looking at the SportData eTournament World Series, which earns more ranking points for winners.

A regular tournament gives between 400-450 points for the champion, while the SportData eTournament World Series provides more than 1000 points for the winner.

“I’m preparing for that of course, but there’s also a separate ranking just for the SportData eTournament World Series. I am currently at No. 2 rank for that one,” said De los Santos.

The month of September had De los Santos capture the Tokaido Maribor Open eTournament, the 4th SportData eTournament World Series, the Hatamoto Kai Mitad Del Mundo E-Tournament, E-Champions Trophy World Series, Miyamoto Musashi Five Rings and the 2nd Dutch Open E-Tournament.

He also ruled 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.

Meanwhile, Fatima Hamsain earned a bronze medal in the Shureido World League under-16 women’s kata.