Karate

PH karateka James delos Santos crowned world No. 1 in virtual kata

Beatrice Go
PH karateka James delos Santos crowned world No. 1 in virtual kata

Photo from James delos Santos' Facebook

Filipino karateka James delos Santos is the new world No. 1 in online kata

Filipino karateka James delos Santos made history as the country’s first world No. 1 athlete in virtual kata.

“After 7 months of competing in so many tournaments on a weekly basis, the hard work has paid off. It is now official. I am the No. 1 in the eKata World Ranking,” wrote Delos Santos in a Facebook post.

Delos Santos officially overtook Portuguese rival Eduardo Garcia with 8,950 points after he bagged his 14th and 15th golds in the 1st Euro Grand Prix eTournament and the E-Karate Games 2020 #2, respectively, last Sunday, October 11.

Garcia now trails behind the Filipino with 8,575 points at the No. 2 spot.

The 30-year-old rallied from a 2,725-point deficit in a span of two months since he clinched the world No. 2 ranking last August 6.

At that time, Delos Santos tallied 3,270 points while Garcia was leading the way with 5,995 points.

“I thought to myself: ‘Wow that’s a big gap. How am I ever going to reach that?’ I was discouraged at first, but my kata coach Masa Saito, reminded me to take it one tournament at a time,” shared Delos Santos.

Though the grind of joining weekly world tournaments has been rough for the karateka, he aims to keep the top spot until the end of the year.

“However, the journey isn’t over. My new goal is to maintain the No. 1 spot throughout the year. This is a much bigger challenge, as there will be other eKata players who want the No. 1 spot as well. But this will keep me grinding and motivated,” added the country’s top kata athlete.

Delos Santos earned his world ranking after joining virtual kata tournaments, which kicked off in March 2020.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only virtual kata tournaments are being held. The athletes send their videos online, which will be judged by referees. – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.