Filipino karateka James delos Santos earned his best Christmas gift as he was crowned the year-end world No. 1 while bagging the last 3 grand winner titles for the year on Friday, December 25.
Delos Santos closed out the year with a total of 36 international gold medals and collected 15,710 ranking points since the start of the virtual kata tournaments last March.
He copped 3 more mints in the Katana Intercontinental League #5 – Super Final2, Golden League Karate E-Tournament #4 – Grand Final3 and the E-Karate Games Grand Winner 2020, which merited him the grand winner titles.
The grand winner title is an award given after a player ranks No. 1 at the end of a competition series.
“A Merry Christmas indeed,” said Delos Santos. “What a way to end the year 2020. It has been a blast.”
The country’s top kata athlete defeated Slovenia’s Nejc Sterniša, 25.38-24.18, in the Katana International League, American Alfredo Bustamante, 25.3-24.1, in the Golden League, and Belgium’s Wasmuel Wado, 25.4-23.4, in the E-Karate Grand Winner tournament.
The 30-year-old kata specialist clinched the top ranking last October 15, overtaking rival Eduardo Garcia of Portugal.
Garcia now trails behind with 8,890 points.
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