Wednesday, April 17, 2024

US Ninjas coming for Throwdown

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Five athletes from the famous American Ninja Warrior television series will be among those taking on the gruelling obstacle course at this year’s Barbados Ninja Throwdown.

This was revealed by founder and managing director Delano Hinds during the official launch of the event at the course at Featherbed Lane, St John, on Wednesday.

“There has been a tremendous interest from both local and international athletes and they are going to come down. We have confirmed 11 overseas competitors with six coming from the United States and of those six, five are active American Ninja Warrior athletes that we would see on television,” he said.

Some of those popular faces include Charity Leblanc, Brett Sims and his wife Grace Sims.

The competition was started after Hinds competed in the American event which consists three categories – 8 to 12, 13 to 17 and 18 and over divisions – and also include female participants for the first time in its three years.

So far ten women have signed up for the May 12 staging and more are expected to register.

He said the competition had recorded tremendous growth, with spectators last year tripling those at its first staging.

Hinds said 58 people competed in last year’s event, but he was looking forward to about 80 competitors this year.

“I am open to having as many people as I can, though I would probably cut it off at 80. The last event I went to had 350 competitors and was hosted over two days and that went fantastic. I would like it to be hosted over two days – one day for qualifying and one day for finals and that way, everyone can see the level of talent and at that point I am hoping to have 170 entrants internationally and locally,” he said.

“Next year we will have a masters division that everyone can have an equal chance. You may be surprised some of the masters may come out and do a faster time down on the course than me or some of the young ones.

Co-managing director and ninja mum Monique Hinds said the rivalry was expected to be exciting since the Barbadian ninjas have been working on their strength and endurance and are also capable of coming away with a reward, with US $10 000 in prizes available.

She added that something new is added to the course yearly and it will be a little more challenging and a surprise to the competitors.

Chairman of the Tourism Development Corporation, Martin Ince, said his organisation had assisted with the marketing of the event globally and viewed it as one which had the potential to become even greater and bring numerous visitors to Barbados.

The event will be carried by SportsMax which will be highlighting four 30-minute shows during primetime. This will help to promote the event in the international market. (RG)

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