Top e-kata bet James de los Santos is welcome to return to the national team.
Karate Pilipinas president Richard Lim said this after learning that the 30-year-old De los Santos has been winning medals in online tournaments over the last eight months.
Last Monday, De los Santos snared his his 20th and 21st straight gold medals in two virtual meets.
“First and foremost, we did not remove him from the national team. We had a selection last January. He chose not to compete,” said Lim.
De los Santos decided not to come back to the national men’s kata team when tryouts were held earlier this year.
When the national squad was selected for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, De los Santos felt he was left out and decided to focus on online meets, with his students.
“So, that’s his loss not ours. And with regards with the online championships he’s been competing in, I’m proud of that,” added Lim.
De los Santos was still part of the national pool after the SEA Games, according to the Lim and there was a different selection process that took place after that.
With De los Santos vacating his slot, national coach Okay Arpa decided to bring in his replacement, Joco Vasquez.
Lim said that while De los Santos has been representing the country in virtual tournaments, online events are different from actual competitions.
What De los Santos joins in are club-based tournaments and not at the national level.
So far, De los Santos has been doing well with three female bets, Julie Anne Marcos, Fatima A-Isha Lim Hamsain and Christine Colonia.