Filipino karateka James de Los Santos scored what would be his “very memorable 25th gold win” after ruling the Katana Intercontinental League 4.
De Los Santos defeated Hungarian opponent Botond Nagy in the final following the release of the judges’ scores yesterday.
“I would have to admit that this match meant a lot to me because my final opponent is Hungary’s best senior male kata player,” de Los Santos said after the win.
Nagy is currently ranked 39th globally by the World Karate Federation and 34th among Olympic hopefuls.
Nagy became more popular for setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest roundhouse kick, completing one in just 0.476 seconds in 2018.
De Los Santos, however, scored a huge upset, beating Nagy, 24.9-24.5, his closest gold medal match win so far this year.
“Even though I emerged victorious, it was a very tough fight and an honor to be facing a kata player of such caliber,” he said.
He first defeated Cornelius Johnsen of Norway in the quarterfinals before beating familiar foe Nejc Sternisa of Slovenia in the semifinals.
Nagy, on the other hand, took a first-round bye before winning against Silvio Cerone-Biagoni of South Africa in the semifinals.
With December just commencing, de Los Santos is on track of ending the year as the number one virtual kata player in the world.*PNA