World No.1 De los Santos nails landmark win
Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - October 28, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  He already achieved his goal to be the highest ranked online karateka in the world.

Now, there’s no way but up for James de los Santos.

And he started his new quest in an extra special way.

The 30-year-old De los Santos edged Juan Achio of Costa Rica, 26.1-25.1, to rule the male seniors individual event of the Katana Intercontinental League #3 on Monday and become the first player to hit 26 points in the virtual karate tilt.

“In the final round, I faced Costa Rica (Achio) and snagged the gold medal. Not only that, I won it as the first eKata player to ever score over 26. To my kata coach, Masa Saito of Japan, this is a record for us!,” De los Santos proudly wrote on his Facebook.

The two-time Southeast Asian (SEA) Games bronze medalist thus firmed up his grip of the world No.1 in the e-kata word rankings.

It was his 15th straight gold medal since topping the Balkan Open on July 25 and 17th overall in 32 tournaments he joined since the sports lockdown in March due to the global pandemic.

 “Time to raise the bar higher,” added De los Santos, who fights out of the International Shotokan Karate Federation of the Philippines.

De los Santos, an outstanding alumnus of PAREF-Springdale, was doubly happy in his most recent golden performance after one of his students, Julia Ian Marcos, grabbed bronze medal in the women’s senior eKata category.

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