Filipino Karate practitioner, World's Top E-Karate player, and International Shotokan Karate Federation (ISKF) Champion, James De los Santos, seems to hammer away, putting out the indomitable spirit as he bags his 28th gold for the year in the recent WIHROO 2021 International Karate E-Tournament — a promotional event for the Oran 2022 Mediterranean Games, in partnership with the Algerian Karate Federation.
De los Santos pocketed the gold in the E-Kata +18 Male Seniors category after winning against Abdelali Tahoulit of Algeria — who bagged the silver medal, while two other Kata players from Algeria -- Belkacem Hasnaoui and Kahia Amine net the bronze medal.
The insurmountable work is nothing new to De los Santos as he concluded the previous year with an impressive 36-gold medal haul, with an additional three silver and three bronze medals. And since the beginning of this year, he has been high powered in numerous competitions, starting in the 2021 SportData eTournament World Series — the most prestigious virtual karate tournament, followed by the 1st Inner Strength Martial Arts International eTournament, E-Karate World Series, Katana Intercontinental League, and many more.
“Competing in so many tournaments in a month is quite exhausting; some people tell me to take a break. But I won't stop because I am inching closer to my goal,” De los Santos admits in his recent Instagram post.
While the pandemic caused a significant disruption in the sports industry across the globe, De los Santos expressed it was fortunate that his sport had well-adapted to the concept of virtual competition, and without hesitation, he took advantage of the opportunity.
De los Santos has been part of the Philippine Karatedo team for 13 years after being drafted back in 2008. He was introduced to the sport in high school, and it was only then in 2005, he took cognizance of the sport after watching the 2005 Southeast Asian Games.
Today, De los Santos is a 2-time Southeast Asian Games Bronze Medalist, 2-time International Shotokan Karate (ISKF) World Champion, 8-time Philippine National Champion, and is currently ranked No.1 in the eKata World Rankings.