By WAYLON GALVEZ
World No. 1 James De los Santos claimed the gold medal in the first leg of the 2021 Katana Intercontinental League E-Tournament Monday.
The 30-year-old online karate sensation defeated world No. 2 Domont Matias Moreno, 26.64-25-06, in the final. The results were posted on SportsData, a webpage recognized by the World Karate Federation (WKF).
The gold medal performance of De los Santos – a former national team member – was a huge improvement on his fifth place finish last year.
More than that, he was more satisfied on his final round score.
“I made a new personal record,” said De los Santos, who now has a total of four gold medals this year.
“The highest I ever scored in a virtual tournament was 26.1 points, that was in the same tournament league (2020). This time around, I scored a 26.64. I was surprised with myself.”
De los Santos also placed fifth in the second leg of the Katana Intercontinental League, but won gold medals in the third, fourth and fifth legs of the event – the last one was in December.
That three-gold medal win was part of the 36 he captured last year, including 35 in WKF sanctioned online meets.