Walnut athlete loses grip in “American Ninja Warrior”

Derek Nakamoto waited three years for his chance
to become America’s first ninja warrior. But in the end, the Walnut
student’s efforts ended with a slippery slide into disqualification at
last night’s final episode of “America Ninja Warrior.”

“I watched the show when I was 18 years old and decided I wanted to compete,” the 21-year-old recalled.

“He was bummed out when he found out he had to be 21,” recalled his father Art.

But the Walnut High grad wouldn’t be denied, training for his
chance on the big screen. The winner would walk away with a cool
$500,000 and bragging rights as America’s very first ninja warrior.

“It’s a dream come true, but you only have one chance,” the engineering student noted.

Everyone was surprised two weeks ago, when the Cal Poly Pomona
student posted the fastest time through stage one of the world’s
hardest obstacle course.

The Walnut resident made the gruelling course look easy. The
5-foot-10-inch athlete focused on the obstacles and pushed through.

Read more in Rich Irwin’s story NINJA.