Belfast Telegraph

Armagh student takes on Ninja Warrior semi-final this Saturday

By Gareth Cross

Co Armagh student Johann Drayne is remaining tight lipped ahead of his appearance on this Saturday's semi-final of Ninja Warrior UK.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph Johann, from Aghalee, said that he refused to reveal how he had got on in the show, even to his closest friends and family members.

The 19-year-old, who is currently studying in Canada at the University of British Columbia said that the show had been an amazing experience and really pushed him to his limit.

"I was a bit nervous with all the contestants as a lot of them were pretty serious athletes but you get over it, they are all great people," Johann said.

"It was great fun, I'd never done anything like that infront of the cameras or anything so I had a ball being an absolute eejit.

"I'm excited to see how it looks on Saturday, a lot of people are asking me about it but I have to keep it under wraps, I won't ruin the excitement!"

Johann said his training regime wasn't exactly rigorous before he appeared on the show.

"I was doing a lot of chin-ups to train for half a year beforehand. I have a bit of general fitness, I play hurling, I do dancing and I used to be a GAA man," he said.

"One thing I would advise to any further contestants is to work on your grip, a lot of contestants have grips like spanners, that was something I need to improve

Johann has always been a fan of the show, but didn't see himself as a contestant.

"I always watched the shows the Japanese one and UK one, and I never thought of applying, but my Mum saw an ad on Facebook which said auditions were coming to Belfast," he said.

"I did an online application and tried to fill it with banter and jokes, my Dad actually thought it was my application for University in Canada and said I'd never get in.

He donned a leprechaun outfit for his first appearance on the show.

"I thought, 'I don't think I'll get on this based on my physical ability alone,' I was originally meant to be Robin Hood but couldn't because of copyright reasons," Johann explained.

"I thought 'leprechauns are pretty lucky as well' so I decided to do that."

Ninja Warrior UK air on Saturday, May 12 at 6.30pm on ITV.

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