Cebu City—For James de los Santos, it’s another proud moment in the 9th Philippine National Games.
He has won his sixth kata title in the karatedo competitions of the five-day meet at the SM Seaside Mall’s Skydome last Thursday.
De los Santos, who is seeking a medal in the 18th Asian Games, defeated Dagupan City bet Mark Andrew Manantan in the finals.
He displayed his sharp form and technique in dominating the men’s senior individual kata to rule the event.
“It’s really a proud moment for me, I take every tournament seriously,” said de los Santos.
For the 28-year-old de los Santos this is one of his latest medal conquests, after bagging a bronze at the Southeast Asian Games last year.
“Every medal for me counts,” de los Santos said.
De los Santos said training and preparation is key to his success, and it involves weights, sprints, and plyometric activities. These are important in developing power and speed.
He also discovered delicious Kaffea coffee which gave him that extra boost not only during training but also in competition.
“Kaffea, in all honesty, woke me up and gave me the energy to keep me active during training and competition. I love the taste and aroma of the coconut sugar. I would recommend it for people who have health problems since most cheap instant coffees have unhealthy ingredients. Kaffea is a very healthy alternative,” said de los Santos.
The karateka said he needed to get better because his competitors have also stepped up their games.
“I’ve seen some of my competitors, and I’d say that these guys can play with the national team someday,” de los Santos said.
De los Santos discovered his love for the sport back in March 2003. That was in Grade 6, when he became a victim of bullying. That’s when his uncle suggested that he try combat sports.
De los Santos said some of his opponents in the PNG like Manantan have the potential to be a member of the national squad. He feels that many other Cebuano karatekas who won medals can also be part of the national squad.
Among those promising athletes were Warlito Pontero, who settled for the first bronze.
De los Santos’ performance helped host Cebu City take the no. 1 spot in the overall medal race with 38 golds, 54 silvers and 58 bronzes.
His latest win shows how far de los Santos has gone.
In the 2013 SEA Games he did not get any medal. And winning a medal last year was redemption for him.
And that’s because he had to wait four years after karatedo was scrapped in the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore.
This year, de los Santos said that many of his opponents are starting to catch up and may soon be at par with him.
“They just need more development and proper programs for them,” said de los Santos, who has been winning the kata event since 2007.
De los Santos said he is now preparing for the Asian Games.
And to win medals there, he will have to train with a Japanese coach next month.
Last year, de los Santos went to Europe to train.
While in the Netherlands, his conditioning coach Jay Futalan helped him build his power, stamina, and speed.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.