De los Santos wins 50th gold

Published April 12, 2021, 8:11 PM

by Waylon Galvez

Photo from James de los Santos’ Facebook account

James de Los bagged two gold medals this week to improve his gold medal haul to 14 and an overall collection of 50 since he started competing in online tournaments last year.

De los Santos ruled the second leg of Athletes E-Tournament Trophy World Series for his 13th gold medal, and then ruled Leg 2 of Katana Inter-Continental League for his 14th gold medal.

The world No. 1 De los Santos won the gold medal in leg 1 of both online meets last February.

The 30-year-old former national team member now has 50 gold medals after he captured 36 in 2020, including 35 in World Karate Federation (WKF) sanctioned online tournaments.

“When I won my 14th gold medal for this year, I realized that I’ve already won 50 gold medals in total,” said De los Santos in a message to Manila Bulletin Monday, April 12, 2021.

“I never thought I could reach that amount in a year. It motivates me to want more.”

De los Santos downed world No. 2 Matias Moreno Domont in the last round of Katana Inter-Continental, 27.4-26-38. Moreno topped Pool 1 with 24.14 points, while De los Santos led Pool 2 with 25.0 points.

In the second leg of the Athletes E-Tournament last Tuesday, April 6, 2021, the double bronze medalist in the Southeast Asian Games defeated Moreno and world No. 3 Alfredo Bustamante of the US in the gold medal bout point system.

De los Santos finished with 25.26 points, Domont had 24.6 points, and Bustamante finished with 24.2 points.

Cited during last month’s virtual 2020 Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Award Night, De los Santos said that the COVID-19 pandemic still presents struggles as an athlete.

Despite the hardships everyone is facing, De los Santos said that he is committed to continue joining the online tournaments, and hopefully give the country the honor with his performance.

“Despite the trying times that we are all in at the moment, it won’t stop me from continuing to compete in more of these online events,” he said.