Before I get into the results and say who won Australian Ninja Warrior 2021, I feel the need to say a few things first. Australian Ninja Warrior, the people involved and the mental & physical changes that training for this sort of sport has afforded me is nothing short of incredible. While I personally didn’t get gifted the opportunity to compete in Season 5, I’ve felt just as connected by writing these reports & results. I truly hope you’ve enjoyed reading them as much as I’ve enjoyed staying up till the wee hours writing them. Thank you.
Australian Ninja Warrior, Season 5 Grand Final Results.
Ninja Warrior is almost done for 2021. It’s been an absolutely phenomenal season with newcomers making big names for themselves and returning ninjas giving us both huge surprises as well as others that proved their place as Australian Ninja Warrior royalty.
The Grand Final is split up into 4 of the toughest stages an obstacle course has ever seen. Last night was stage one and it knocked out plenty of strong ninja warriors. Stage two & we have 10 of Australia’s best athletes hitting arguably the most brutal course ever built on our shores. Let’s take a look.
Grand Final Stage 2
- Rolling Steel
- Salmon Ladder to Unstable Bridge
- I-Beam Gap
- Spin Hopper
- Crazy Cliff Hanger to Rope
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Each & every one of these athletes put in one heck of an effort this year. Ninja is – to quote a good friend Jimmy Levan – a “one lap, no crap” obstacle race. You get one chance to go fast & make it work. That is unless you were one of three ninjas to get a second chance on the Semi Final Power Tower. Jake Baker needed to use his in stage one but both Mike Snow & Zak Stolz needed theirs in the first runs we saw of the night.
Mike Snow threw everything down but his forearms gave up on the first transfer on the very last obstacle, the Cliff Hanger. On his second chance run, he skipped that first ledge and looked solid up to the final rope climb. After 3 & a half minutes, his arms gave way and barely a metre from the buzzer, slipped into the water. “I’ve never fought so hard. I left it all on the course” Mike says. Bloody awesome effort, dude!
Zak Stolz, using an I-Beam technique seen used in 2019 by Ashlin Herbert, missed the lache between the two I-Beams and splashed out. But, he’s got a second chance!
Focus Is Key.
As mentioned in the stage one post, ninjas are best when they are focussed on the task at hand. They know a lapse in concentration can lead to disaster and Bryson Klein realised this mistake. In the post run interview, Klein says ‘”…focussing on the obstacles ahead…” but Bryson, the ever positive human that he is went on to say this is just the “Fire in the belly… That’s all that is!”
From there it was the Dungeon that got the better of some of the best ninjas. Alex Bigg, Jake Baker and Ashlin Herbert all fell on the lache to the door. Rob Patterson went slightly better but unfortunately couldn’t get past the Cliff Hanger.
Just after Ashlin Herbert ran Charlie Robbins. An upper body smasher, this course was built for Charlie. I’ve been making notes about the entire season & haven’t missed a single thing. That was until Charlie’s run. Urgh. I was so glued to the TV I didn’t make any notes on his run but it’s no surprise that Robbins was the first to hit the buzzer on the Stage 2 course. With 16 seconds left on the clock, Charlie was our first finisher.
Olivia Vivian & Ben Polson shared very similar results; both falling on the I-Beam. You could argue that Olivia Vivian did it better though. “I had to send it… [it’s] such a tough grip.” As Vivian went for the lache between the two I-Beams, her grip gave way and she was back-flipping into the pool.
Luckily, or skillfully, Zak gets to run the course again and learning from his previous mistakes, Zak had a flawless run. Finishing the gruelling ninja warrior course with 6 seconds remaining of the 3:35 time cap, Zak & Charlie are the only two ninjas to move on to Stage 3.
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Zak Stolz & Charlie Robbins onto Stage 3
Charlie ran the course first. Making some powerful moves on the salmon ladder, Robbins looked in control and well on his way to the top of Mt Midoriyama. From the Salmon Ladder, ninjas went straight onto Slingshot. This is an obstacle that took out a lot of ninjas in last years semi’s but it wasn’t the obstacle that sent Charlie into the water, it was the transfer from the ladder. The Salmon Ladder bar slipped from it’s rung and Charlie fell.
So the Winner of the 2021 Australian Ninja Warrior is...
To win, Zak Stolz needed to complete the Slingshot. Up the Salmon Ladder almost as smoothly as Robbins but Zak opted to leap to the slingshot bar instead of a reach. Zak Stolz, the absolute weapon he is, completed the Slingshot cementing his place as the WINNER of Australian Ninja Warrior, Season 5.
Video: Check out Bryson Klein's Grand Final run
Video: Check out Mike Snow's Grand Final run
Video: Check out Charlie Robbins' Grand Final run
Zak Stolz - Winner of Australian Ninja Warrior, Season 5 - 2021
Congratulations Zak Stolz! Well deserved, incredibly well earned. Cannot wait to see you in future seasons of Australian Ninja Warrior!
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