James delos Santos ends 2020 as virtual kata world No. 1

Beatrice Go
James delos Santos ends 2020 as virtual kata world No. 1

WORLD NO. 1. James delos Santos maintains his top world ranking since clinching it in October 2020.

Photo from James delos Santos' Facebook

Filipino karateka James delos Santos closes out 2020 with a total of 36 international gold medals in virtual kata

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

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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.