World No. 1 James De los Santos claimed his 16th online gold medal as he edged Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa, 25.7-23.9, in the final of the Golden League Karate e-Tournament Series 2.
A day after he clinched to the No. 1 spot in the e-kata of the World Karate Federation (WKF), the 30-year-old De los Santos proceeded to score a huge victory to highlight his achievement.
“I really never thought that I would catch up, given that I was nearly 3,000 points behind when I become the No. 2 back in August,” De los Santos said as he improved to 8950 points to surpass Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.
“That discouraged me for a while, until my kata coach Masa Saito, as well as my parents told me to be patient and take one tournament at a time. That got me back on my feet. Then nearly three months later, I finally achieved it.”
Garcia is now at second spot with 8575 points, while Cerone-Biogioni (4585) remains at third, followed by Matias Moreno Domont of Switzerland (4455) at fourth and Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia (3980) is at fifth.
On his way to the final of the Golden League Karate e-Tournament Series 2, the former national team member eliminated Domont, 25-24, in their quarterfinal match and then downed Murilo Alves of Brazil 25.1-23.3 in the semifinal
Last month, De los Santos had a sizzling win streak as he won seven gold medals..
Not done with his sizzling performance, De los Santos ruled the 1st Euro Grand Prix and the 2nd e-Karate Games 2020 earlier this month.
De los Santos understands that he must keep on winning to remain No. 1 for the rest of the year.
“It doesn’t stop there. Coach Masa and I have a new goal: to maintain the No. 1 position throughout the year. There will be other players out there who want that spot, so that will keep me working and motivated,” he said.