By WAYLON GALVEZ
Online karate sensation James De los Santos finally achieved his mission – becoming the world No. 1 kata (form) player.
In the latest e-kata world rankings, the former national team member upped his points to 8,950 – enough to overtake erstwhile No. 1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal who has 8575 points.
De los Santos ruled the 1st Euro Grand Prix and the 2nd e-Karate Games 2020 to complete his stirring comeback after falling behind as much as 3,000 points two months ago.
“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,” said the 30-year-old De los Santos.
“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.”
Still at third place is Silvio Cerone-Biogioni of South Africa with 4585 points followed by Matias Moreno Domont of Switzerland (4455) and Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia (3980).
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 won seven gold medals.