Philippines' top karateka thumbs down immediate return to national team
OJ delos Santos has recently zoomed to world No. 2 from No. 3 in the virtual kata discipline after he reigned supreme in the Balkan Open last Sunday in an effort that should open opportunities for him for a possible return to the national squad.
Facebook/James De Los Santos
Philippines' top karateka thumbs down immediate return to national team
Joey Villar (Philstar.com) - August 7, 2020 - 12:36pm

MANILA, Philippines – It may take wounds to heal before the world’s second best online men’s karateka would get to wear the national team uniform again and represent the Philippines in international competitions.

OJ delos Santos has recently zoomed to world No. 2 from No. 3 in the virtual kata discipline after he reigned supreme in the Balkan Open last Sunday in an effort that should open opportunities for him for a possible return to the national squad.

But the 30-year-old two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist was quick to brush off talks of a potential reunion with his former Philippine teammates after he was bumped off from the squad in the SEAG in December last year.

“With all that has happened in the last SEAG, it wouldn’t be possible with this current NSA (national sports association) and especially with the way I was removed from the SEAG lineup,” said delos Santos.

Delos Santos said his main focus right now is winning more medals and making the country proud.

“I’m currently competing in the Athlete’s E-Tournament, which is hosted by Russia online and hopefully I could gain more world ranking points there,” said delos Santos.

Delos Santos dislodged Italian Leonardo Birra at No. 2 after the former’s Balkan Open feat and is chasing Portuguese Eduardo Garcia on top.

Delos Santos has been killing it since online karatedo has become the new normal as he had already raked in three golds, a silver and a bronze in 12 meets he participated in a four-month span.

“It has become the way of life and its one of the things that keeps me productive throughout the pandemic,” he said.

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