PH karateka Delos Santos jumps to world No. 3 despite controversy

Beatrice Go
PH karateka Delos Santos jumps to world No. 3 despite controversy

Photo from James Delos Santos

James delos Santos nabs a career-high world No. 3 ranking

Filipino karateka James delos Santos rose to the rank of world No. 3 after earning a silver medal in the 2nd Adidas Karate Open World Series, which was marred by a judging controversy.

The Filipino kata athlete tallied a total of 2,565 points, which was 5 points behind world No. 2 Leonardo Birra of Italy in the male individual seniors rankings.

“Last night, I also checked if the virtual kata world rankings were updated. A few days ago, I was brought down to No. 5. But because of my silver win in the recent Adidas Karate Open World Series #2, it added more points,” wrote Delos Santos in a Facebook post.

“From being demoted to No. 5 for a while, I’ve been shot to No. 3.”

Delos Santos almost claimed an elusive win over virtual kata world No. 1 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal as the Filipino was initially awarded the title in the 2nd Adidas Karate Open World Series.

In the notice announced on Thursday, July 23, 6 am, Philippine time, Delos Santos recorded a score 24.7 over his rival Garcia’s 24.1 in the tournament finals.

But 12 hours later, Garcia’s score was changed to 25.1 and the tournament organizer wrote to Delos Santos that a referee made an official request to change the score, making the Portuguese the winner.

“One of the referees made an official request due to his mistake, and he gave scores once again. This was the only one solution, he mixed the athletes and gave the wrong points to the winner,” wrote Sportdata to Delos Santos.

Although the Filipino replied that the decision was “irregular and unfair”, Delos Santos decided to move on and focus on the next tournament.

“This is a first time that this happened since the scores are supposed to be final once displayed. This would also never be allowed to happen in an actual tournament,” wrote Delos Santos in a Facebook post.

“I don’t know the reason why this happened. But that’s the way it goes sometimes. All we have to do is stand tall and keep moving forward.”

Delos Santos faced the Portuguese in the 2nd SportData E-Tournament World Series finals last May, but settled for the silver.

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.