Online karate sensation James De los Santos hopes to get the No. 1 world ranking when he aims for two gold medals after he advanced in the final round of two events last Saturday.
The 30-year-old De los Santos, who has captured 13 gold medals, is in the championship round of 1st Euro Grand Prix E-Tournament 2020 and the gold medal match of the 2nd e-Karate Games 2020.
He is up against Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa in the Euro Grand Prix, and will face Murilo Alves of Brazil in the e-Karate Games.
“Going to the Euro Grand Prix finals and the E-Karate Games finals. If I win the Grand Prix, that’s my ticket to the No. 1 spot. But of course I’ll do my best to win both events,” said De los Santos in a message to Manila Bulletin.
On top of the e-kata world ranking is Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.
The world No. 2 De los Santos is fresh from his 13th gold medal win with an impressive 25.26-24.6 victory against Domnt Matias Moreno of Switzerland in the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series.
Aside from the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series, De los Santos also won early this month the Venice Cup 2020.
De los Santos said that these online events are very tough considering the tournaments are almost simultaneous. After he won the Okinawa E-Tournament World Series, De los Santos was already preparing for his semifinal round of the Euro Grand Prix E-Tournament 2020 and 2nd e-Karate Games 2020.
“Competing in virtual tournaments on a weekly basis isn’t an easy thing to do.
However, in every tournament, I keep improving in every performance,” De los Santos said.
“My coach from Japan – Masa Saito – guides me online. Also, at the same time, I’m training when I compete in these tournaments. Whether it’s actual or virtual, you’re still competing with yourself. So it’s not really much of a difference.”
Last month, De los Santos won seven gold medals, the Tokaido Maribor Open eTournament, 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 ruled 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.