Ninja Warrior’s history-making winner
Australian Ninja Warrior has a history-making new winner, with Ben Polson making it all the way up Mount Midoriyama - one of three competitors to do so during Monday night's grand finale.
Polson emerged triumphant after an action-packed final in which he did battle with seven other competitors, including his own girlfriend Olivia Vivian, the only woman left in the competition.
Each of the eight competitors had to make it all the way through stages two and three of the obstacle course for their chance to tackle Mount Midoriyama.
And it was a very different Ninja Warrior grand final than previous years, as real life conditions continued to intrude on the show: "Because of ongoing health concerns, our Ninjas will compete tonight without their family and friends on the sidelines," announced Rebecca Maddern at the top of the show.
This season's top eight contestants were: Polson and Vivian as well as Alex Matthews, Jordan Papandrea, Matthew Bowles, Mike Show, Zak Stolz and last year's winner Charlie Robbins.
Only four of them - Robbins, Bowles, Stolz and Polson - made it through stage two of the grand final. Moving on to stage three, the four faced a tough psychological barrier: As the hosts reminded them, no Ninja in Australian history had ever made it through stage three before.
Polson was the first to make it through, with Ben Fordham pointing out what a history-making moment it was: "After four years, 20,000 applications, more than 600 Ninja runs, 106 grand final attempts, we have one hero at the foothills of Mount Midoriyama."
But he had two more competitors hot on his heels: Zak Stolz and Charlie Robbins also both made it through stage three.
That left only Mount Midoriyama to conquer - an impossible-seeming 20-metre rope climb.
Oh yeah, and they had to complete it in just 30 seconds.
Stolz was first, making it to the top with literal milliseconds to spare:
Then Robbins, who bettered Stolz by a few seconds, hitting the buzzer with three and a half seconds to spare:
Finally, Polson, who raced up the rope, shaving a further second off Robbins' time:
So after three seasons of viewers being disappointed that no competitor even got a chance to attempt Mount Midoriyama, this year had three competitors make it up in time.
Polson's speed - just one second faster than Robbins - meant he took home the whopping $400,000 prize money, and the title of Australian Ninja Warrior.
Originally published as Ninja Warrior's history-making winner