De los Santos aims for 13th online gold

Published October 6, 2020, 2:27 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Online karate sensation James De los Santos aims for his 13th gold medal after beating Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia in the semifinal of the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series.

A week after a dominant victory opposite Sternisa in the final of the Venice Cup 2020, the 30-year-old De los Santos scored a close 25.8-24.72 triumph this time for his 15th final appearance.

“Happy to be in the final again. I’m looking forward to winning my 13th gold – closer to my goal of being the No. 1 rank athlete in the world,” De Los Santos said as he currently occupies the No. 2 spot in the e-kata.

Currently at No. 1 is Portugal’s Eduardo Garcia.

On his way to the final, De los Santos also downed Alfredo Bustamante of the US 24.3-24 in the round of 16, and Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa 24.92-23.98 in the quarterfinal.

De los Santos will face in the final round Matias Moreno Domont of Switzerland as the latter edged Abdellatif Choukri in the other semifinal pairing 25.06-24.58 after results were posted Tuesday.

As he advanced to the championship round, more satisfying for De los Santos are the performances of his students in the girls’ division as Julia Marcos, Karen Colonia and Fatima Hamsain are making progress.

James De los Santos with, from left, Julia Marcos, Karen Colonia and Fatima Hamsain. (Photo from Moly Hamsain)

Marcos (female senior’s) and Hamsain (under-15) have advanced to the medal round of their respective events in the same Okinawa E-Tournament World Series.

“I’m really happy now that there are a few students like these three girls who are now stepping into the field of virtual kata,” said De los Santos, who owns 12 online gold medals.

“What makes me happier is that aside from the fact that I’m going to the finals, two of them – Hamsain and Marcos – are taking home medals from this tourney. Julia is heading to the finals as well, and I’m still waiting for Fatima’s semifinal result.”

“It’s unfortunate though that my other student Karen only made it to quarterfinals. But I told her that this serves as a lesson for her to train harder for the next tournaments to come.”

Aside from the Venice Cup 2020 title, De los Santos also won 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 last month.

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.