Borders ninja Ali Hay loses his grip on trophy

This was the moment Kelso's Ali Hay ran out of strength in Saturday's final ... his grip failing him as he swung over to another bar. However, he reached the top five contestants out of thousands of entries, and in doing so built up a strong fan base.
This was the moment Kelso's Ali Hay ran out of strength in Saturday's final ... his grip failing him as he swung over to another bar. However, he reached the top five contestants out of thousands of entries, and in doing so built up a strong fan base.

He may not have reached the dreaded Mount Midoriyama on Saturday, but Kelso’s Ali Hay did himself and the Borders proud by reaching the last five standing in the Ninja Warrior UK competition.

He is one of only six people to have made it to stage three of the final, but the 22m rope of the increasingly fabled Mount Midoriyma has yet to be touched by human hand.

Ali came within two obstacles from being the first ... but he lost his grip on the “crazy cliffhanger” where he had to hang on by his fingertips while swinging across a chasm to catch a bar, but he crashed out.

He had been suffering from a virus on the day of the final.

Ali told us: “By that point I was knackered. My tennis elbow had kicked in and my forearms were gone. I had nothing left to give.

“I think I was mentally focused on beating the obstacle that I was disqualified in last year, the spider climb, and I maybe didn’t pay enough attention to the others.

“But that’s the show. They really ramp up the difficulty, and the fact that no-one has completed the course yet says a lot.”

His family were there to see him perform, and he thanked them for their support, adding: “I’d also like to thank those in the Borders, and in the whole of the UK for their support and love during the course of the competition.

“I have to say I am very happy with how it went.

“It’s a great platform to spread the message about the importance of fitness, and how I have got so far, despite having asthma.”

But, although Ali took a dip in the pool, it’s not the end of the road for him.

He said: “My application is already in for season five, and fingers crossed I will be able to go all the way this time around.”