De los Santos eyes 12th gold in Venice Cup
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino karateka James De los Santos is gunning for his 12th gold medal in 29 tournaments when he entered the finals of Venice Cup September Sunday.
De los Santos also has the opportunity to become the world No. 1 if he bags the gold in the online tournament.
Eduardo Garcia of Portugal is still atop the rankings with 8,125 points but De los Santos is not far behind at No. 2 with 7,675 points.
De los Santos will face Nejc Starniša in the finals of the Venice Cup.
Interestingly, it was the semifinals that had the most story behind it with De los Santos’ opponent Matias Moreno informing the Filipino martial artist that he’s not in his best condition the night before the competition.
“We’ve already competed against each other several times. On the night before the semis, Matias messaged me on Instagram, and he told me he couldn’t perform because he was feeling ill,” said De los Santos of his Swiss opponent.
“I was given the opportunity to perform any kata I wanted, even a basic one. But I still decided to perform a high kata. As they say in the Dojo Run (principles) of karate: Respect others. This is my way of paying respect to my competitors. I wished for him to get well soon and that I’m looking forward to seeing him in the future tourneys to come.”
De los Santos has won 11 gold, two silver, and three bronze medals over a span of 28 tournaments.
He also reached the No. 2 spot in the world rankings in August.