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De los Santos strikes perfect 10

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  It seems that there’s no stopping Cebu’s pride James de los Santos in his relentless drive to reach the pinnacle of the online karate world rankings.

On the heels of a golden treble last week, De los Santos strikes again, dishing out a golden double performance to rack up more points he needed to reach the top of the e-kata world.

The country’s top karateka first bested Murilo Alves of Brazil, 24.6-23.6, to rule the Mitad del Mundo Hatamoto Kai e-Tournament.

And the best is yet to come for the 30-year-old De los Santos, currently No.2 in the e-kata world rankings.

The former Southeast Asian (SEA) Games double bronze medalist pulled off a repeat performance over his archrival world No.1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal by the thinnest of margins, 24.8, 24-5 to lord it over the fourth edition of the SportData eTournament World Series.

“This tournament meant even more when I advanced to the final round against my rival, the world no.1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal. This is the fourth time I’ve faced him in a final showdown. I gave everything I had, and ended up snagging my 10th gold medal,” said De los Santos.

“My road to no. 1 still continues. I won’t stop until I get there,” added the outstanding alumnus of PAREF-Springdale.

Overall, it was De los Santos eighth straight gold medal since he topped the Balkan Open last August 3.

Earlier this month, De los Santos scooped three gilts within just a 24-hour span. He now has a total of 10 golds spiced up with two silvers and four bronzes in 15 virtual competitions he took part since the sports lockdown in March due to the global pandemic.

De los Santos is grateful to all those who have helped him, in one way or another, in his journey to be the world’s best online karateka.

“Thank you to my parents for your guidance. Thank you to my conditioning coach Jay Futalan.

Thank you to my sempai and MKKPI chief instructor Gierby Halog Lacorte and Adonis Colonia, and to Basement 88 for letting me use your Honbu dojos as my virtual tournament venues. Thank you Hamsain Moly for being one of my kata critics, it really helped a lot,” wrote De los Santos on his Facebook page.

“To my kata coach, Masa Saito:We did it! We won where it mattered the most,” he added.

Saito, for his part, is very appreciative of what De los Santos has achieved.

“I’m just really happy. I am confident in our coach-athlete partnership. I appreciate the opportunity he gave me to be his coach,” stated Saito.

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