He didn’t come with all the hype of some competitors but Lismore’s Fred Dorrington has taken out the inaugural series of Australian Ninja Warrior beating more than 250 hopefuls from around the nation.
The 27-year-old was accused of having an unfair advantage over his competitors, after placing third in the United Kingdom’s version of the TV show in 2016, aired in Australia on Channel Nine.
But it was almost deja vu for Dorrington, who survived a nail-biting decision that his foot didn’t touch the water on the ‘big dipper’, and continued to complete more of stage two of the brutal course than any other competitor.
It was a foot in the water that killed Dorrington’s chances of winning Ninja Warrior UK last year.
Throughout the series Dorrington, who practises on his own ‘Ninja gym’ complete with a climbing wall, bars and a salmon ladder in a shed in his Lismore backyard, sported a gold shirt with a green kangaroo motif and green shorts.
The carpenter and boat builder was never the fastest through the obstacles during the heats or the semi finals, but he had the composure, skill and strength when it counted.
Thousands applied for their shot at becoming Australia’s first Ninja Warrior and 250 contestants competed in five heats, three semi finals and last nights grand final.
Dorrington hit back at those who said he had an unfair advantage after competing in Ninja Warrior UK.
‘The Australian course is way harder, it pushes you to the limits,’ he told news.com.
‘The UK show is more like Wipeout. The UK show is about everyone having a go.
‘It doesn’t focus on athleticism, and the actual production is all about rewinding splashdowns and laughing at people when they’re failing.
‘In Australia, they give more airtime to athleticism.’
While the obstacles are similar, Dorrington said the Australian course was far more challenging.
‘The obstacles are similar on both shows but they are set up to be more challenging in Australian Ninja Warrior.
‘For example, there’s a few dismounts that are horrendously bigger on the Australian course than in the UK version.’
Dorrington defeated everyone from former olympians, NRL players and tradesmen, gymnasts, parkour experts and rock climbers.
After the scare of disqualification on stage one of the grand final, Dorrington made it further than any competitor on stage two, completing three of five obstacles in the allowed 65 seconds.