World No. 2 James De los Santos captured his 13th gold medal following an impressive victory against Domont Matias Moreno of Switzerland in the final of the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series.
Fresh from his win against Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia in the final of the Venice Cup 2020, the 30-year-old former national team member De los Santos defeated Moreno, 25.26-24.6.
Because of that, De los Santos is expected to improve his world ranking points among e-kata campaigners as he tries to move closer to No. 1, which is currently occupied by Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.
“I’m happy with my 13th gold. The No. 1 spot is just really near,” De los Santos told Manila Bulletin as results were posted Thursday night at the webpage of the World Karate Federation.
De los Santos made it to the final round by beating Sternisa in the semifinal stage, 25.8-24.72. He also won against American Alfredo Bustamante, 24.3-24, in the round of 16, and downed Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa, 24.92-23.98, in the quarterfinal.
More than his victory, it was satisfying for De los Santos to finally have two of his three female students to finally win as Julia Marcos and Fatima Hamsain ruled their respective categories in the same tournament.
Marcos won in the female senior’s division, while Hamsain also pocketed her first gold in the female Under-15 class.
“Seeing the wins of these two ladies made me even happier. I’m very glad to have coached them for this tournament. I’m very thankful to their sensei Gierby Lacorte for lending his support,” said De los Santos.
Last month, De los Santos won seven gold medals, 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.