WHAT started as a dare from mates has turned into a shot at history for Geelong zoology student and snake catcher Luke Stahl as he sets himself for a run at the title of Australian Ninja Warrior tonight.
The 20-year-old will race the clock in part one of the decider in a bid to earn a shot at a second part of the course and Mt Midoriyama, which no one could conquer in the inaugural season.
Mr Stahl, who despite his ripped physique described himself as “a regular guy who gave it shot”, will look to put the “daunting” crowd and cameras to the back of his mind and take advantage of the opportunity.
“It’s a very different experience and I was really happy after doing so terribly in the heats, scraping through and then doing well in the semis, but to make the grand final is huge,” he said.
Mr Stahl spent just a month self-training for four hours a day off the fit base his mates suspected when they urged him to sign up, dropping 10kg in the process, before rising to the final.
Australian Ninja Warrior host Rebecca Maddern said it was a thrill to have Geelong represented in what would be a “mind-blowing”’ start to the decider as 32 athletes look to complete nine obstacles in three-and-a-half minutes.
“When I saw Waurn Ponds, I thought ‘Oh my gosh, a local boy, how exciting’,” she said.
“In his bio he says he’s not what you would call a ‘traditional’ ninja athlete in terms of spending that much time at the gym, but he’s blown us out of the water.
“They come from all different walks of life and Luke Stahl is in with a really good shot.”
Australian Ninja Warrior airs at 7.30pm.