By Waylon Galvez
World No. 1 James De los Santos nailed his 19th online gold medal a day after “super typhoon” battered some parts of the country.
The online karate sensation defeated Silvio Cerone-Biogioni of South Africa, 25.2-23.7, in the final of e-Champions Trophy World Series #2.
The 30-year-old De los Santos said he almost failed to submit his video entry because of continued bad weather on Monday
“This will be a memorable virtual tournament,” said De los Santos. “Fatima (Hamsain) and I were both scheduled to compete in the finals (Monday). We arrived in the MKKPI dojo in Sunshine Plaza (in Taguig City) at 11:20 a.m.”
“Then the mall announced that they would close at 12 noon for everyone’s safety… so we only had around 30 minutes to prepare; we were really pressed for time. But fortunately, we were able to record our performances.”
“But also given that there could be a possible brownout because of the typhoon, we had to rush home to upload our videos. And fortunately again, it was successful. We were against the time and the typhoon, but we succeeded,” he added.
On his way to the final round, De los Santos downed American Andredo Bustamante, 24.8-24.3, while Cerone-Biagioni edged Matias Moreno Domont of Switzerland, 24.1-23.8.
“I was happy to see that I’ve won my 19th gold, despite all this. I’m happy too for my MKKPI students as they have brought home medals from their respective categories (in the same tournament),” he said.
Hamsain won gold in the U-15 e-kumite and silver in e-kata, while Karen Colonia earned a gold in the U-18 e-kata, and Julia Marcos settled with silver in female senior’s e-kata.
Last month, De los Santos won a total of seven gold medals after topping the Pune Open India Karate e-tournament, the 3rd Katana Inter-Continental Karate League e-Tournament, Golden League Karate e-Tournament Series 2, Venice Cup 2020, the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series, the 1st Euro Grand Prix and the 2nd e-Karate Games 2020.