Denver 13 year old Visually Impaired Named Outstanding Competitor

By Ernest Pund | Nov. 27, 2013, 11:25 p.m. (ET)

Tanaka won all matches by ippon in regular divisions

Robert Tanaka, Jr., 13, of Denver, won all his matches by ippon at the Dallas Invitational last weekend and was named an Outstanding Competitor, a particularly noteworthy achievement because Tanaka is legally blind and fought all his matches in a fully-sighted division.

Tanaka, who was born with Albinism, also took first place in the fully-sighted (able-bodied) 53 kg. division the next day at the President’s Cup, also held in Irving, TX.

A purple belt, Tanaka has been doing judo for about seven years and now trains with Ju Shin Kan judo in Colorado Springs.

"Robert is an extremely talented athlete,” said Scott Moore, head coach of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Judo Team and head instructor at Denver Judo. “We are very excited about his future in Paralympic Judo."