james de los santos
James De los Santos is now the No.1in the world rankings. (Photo from James De los Santos)

Filipino online karate sensation James De los Santos has finally moved to the No. 1 spot in the world rankins after points were tabulated from latest events including three where he won gold medals.

De los Santos ruled the 1st Euro Grand Prix and the 2nd e-Karate Games 2020 – tournaments that improved his total to 8950 points in the e-kata world ranking male seniors.

“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,” the 30-year-old De los Santos told Manila Bulletin.

“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.”

Relegated to second place is Eduardo Garcia of Portugal with 8575 points, remaining at third is Silvio Cerone-Biogioni of South Africa with 4585 points, at fourth is Matias Moreno Domont of Switzerland with 4455 points and Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia is at fifth with 3980 points.

Photo from James de los Santos

Early this month, De los Santos defeated Cerone-Biogioni in the final of the Euro Grand Prix as the former scored a 24.6-24.3 victory for his 15th gold medal. Before that, the former national team member ruled 2nd e-Karate Games 2020 by beating Murilo Alves of Brazil in the final 24.3-23.2.

Last month, De los Santos had a sizzling win streak as he won seven gold medals.

It started with the Tokaido Maribor Open eTournament, then the 4th SportData eTournament World Series, the Hatamoto Kai Mitad Del Mundo E-Tournament, E-Champions Trophy World Series, Miyamoto Musashi Five Rings and the 2nd Dutch Open E-Tournament.

He also won the e-Karate Games 2020 and the Athletes E-Tournament last August, the Balkan Open eTournament in July, the Korokotta Cup last June and the Palestine International Karate Cup last April.

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.

De los Santos is in the final of the Golden League Karate e-Tournament Series 2 hoping to win his 16th gold against Cerone-Biagioni.

De los Santos eliminated Domont Matias Moreno of Switzerland in their quarterfinals match 25-24, and then downed Murilo Alves of Brazil 25.1-23.3 in the semifinal stage.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/10/15/de-los-santos-now-no-1-in-world/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=de-los-santos-now-no-1-in-world)