After clinching the No. 1 world ranking a few weeks ago, James De los Santos made another first in the e-kata tournament.
The 30-year-old online karate sensation claimed his 17th gold medal in style following a 26.1-25.1 victory against Juan Achio of Costa Rica in the final of the 3rd Katana Inter-Continental Karate League e-Tournament.
“It’s my 17th gold,” said De los Santos, who jumped to the No. 1 spot in the e-kata world ranking two weeks ago after overtaking Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.
“Not only that, I’m the only e-kata player so far who has ever scored over a 26. That’s a record for me and my kata coach Masa Saito,” said De los Santos, a former national team member.
On his way to the final round, De los Santos won against Abdellatif Choukroi of Morocco 25.9-23.7 in the quarterfinal, and world No. 5 Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia, 25.1-24.1.
Achio, meanwhile, downed Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa, 24.1-23.1, and stunned Garcia in the Final Four, 24.8- 24.7.
“For the first round, there were 12 of us. So it was done by point list – the top eight will advance to the quarterfinals. I scored the highest together with Portugal at 24.5 each,” said De los Santos.
“I’m really shocked. I’m really happy to win my 17th gold, but it was surprising when I won with a score over a 26. So far in all the virtual tournaments I’ve joined, I’m the first and only e-kata player to have ever done it.”
De los Santos is on a roll this month since he also won in the 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.
However, last month was his highest with seven-gold haul.