Delos Santos tightens hold on World No. 1 karate ranking

Joey Villar ( – October 25, 2020 – 3:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino karateka James delos Santos kept his iron grip of the World No. 1 ranking after he made the finals of the Katana Inter-Continental Karate League e-Tournament.

The 30-year-old delos Santos turned back Slovenian Nejc Sternisa, 25.1-24.1, in the semifinals Saturday night to earn a crack at his 16th gold medal.

It also ensured the two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist of keeping his lofty perch as World No. 2 Eduardo Garcia of Portugal absorbed a heartbreaking 24.7-24.8 defeat at the hands of Juan Achio of Costa Rica in the other semis pairing.

Delos Santos, who made it to the semis by besting Abdellatif Choukri of Morocco, 24.9-23.7, and Achio, a 24.2-23.1 winner over Silvio Cerone-Biagioni of South Africa the round before, were battling each other at press time.

Delos Santos supplanted Garcia from the top last week after tallying a total of 8950 as against the latter’s 8575, thanks to the former’s 15-gold juggernaut starting last March.

“I’ll work as hard, if not harder, to keep the No. 1 spot,” said delos Santos.

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