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Iketani Naoki

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Iketani Naoki (池谷 直樹) is a former competitive gymnast, sports talent, former leader of the now defunct Muscle Musical show, current producer of the Samurai Orchestra show, and holder of the World Record in the Monster Box at 23 boxes. He is from Yodogawa District, Osaka. He married the day before he competed in SASUKE 8.

SASUKE

He made his debut in the second tournament but he shocked many failing the second obstacle of the First Stage, the Burasagari Maruta. He returned stronger in SASUKE 4, and he passed the First Stage easily, with 14.2 seconds left on the clock. Then he defeated the Second Stage, with a narrow window of 2.8 seconds left remaining. On the Third Stage, he was able to made all the way to the final obstacle, the Pipe Slider, but he could not hold the bar in order to make a jump and eventually his grip gave way and he fell into the water. In the fifth competition he started well, however at the new Soritatsu Kabe he struggled and he ultimately timed out there. After a two tournament hiatus, he comes back in SASUKE 8 however he surprisingly failed the Rolling Maruta, in a tournament characterized by the heavy rain. In SASUKE 9 he finally clear the First Stage with a barely 2.8 seconds left, but in the Second Stage he struggled on the Spider Walk and timed out after clearing the Gyakusō Conveyor. In the 10th anniversary competition, he was one of the only five competitors to clear the First Stage, doing so with just 2.7 seconds left. Then he took his revenge on the Second Stage by passing it with 7.8 seconds left. In the Third Stage, he cleared the first three obstacles with little trouble, and he ultimately failed the Cliffhanger, when his grip gave way on the transition on the second ledge. In SASUKE 11 he demolished the First Stage with an incredible 19.4 seconds left, the fastest time on the First Stage. In the Second Stage, he lost the balance on the Balance Tank, but he was incredibly able to hold on and to clear the Stage, with 10.8 seconds remaining. On the Third Stage, history repeated itself when he failed again the transition to second ledge on the Cliffhanger. In SASUKE 12 he surprisingly failed the First Stage, timing out on the Rope Climb after struggling on the Soritatsu Kabe. In SASUKE 13 he took his revenge on the Soritatsu Kabe and he passed the first two stages easily, however in the Third Stage he struggled to mantain his grip on the Body Prop and he fell there. In SASUKE 14 he passed the first two stages without any problem but he fell on the Body Prop again, in a similar fashion of the previous tournament. In SASUKE 15 he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe, after struggling on it because of the extreme heat that characterized that day. In SASUKE 16 he passed the first two stages with times to spare, but on the Third Stage he struggled on the Arm Rings and he failed immediately after starting the Body Prop.

Shin-Sasuke

After a three competition absence, he returned in the 20th anniversary competition, competing for the first time with the brother, Iketani Yukio. However, he struggled on the Spider Walk portion of the Jumping Spider and he ultimately failed there. In the next competition Iketani took his revenge on the Jumping Spider, and he made all the way to the Flying Chute, before overshooting the obstacle and fail into the water. In SASUKE 22, despite he wore his highest number ever, #97, he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe. He again returned in SASUKE 24, again with his brother, but he timed out on the Soritatsu Kabe again.

Kanzen Renewal

He once again returned in SASUKE 26 and he clear the First Stage for the first time since SASUKE 16, doing so with only 4.3 seconds left. But on the Second Stage he fell early on the Double Salmon Ladder, on the transition between the two ladders. In SASUKE 27 he cleared the First Stage again but he failed the Double Salmon Ladder for a second straight time. In SASUKE 28 he shocked many when he fell on the Rolling Escargot.

He did not compete in SASUKE 31, but was present to support fellow Samurai Orchestra member Kikuchi Seiminamoto, who failed the Cross Slider in the Second Stage. He competed in SASUKE 33 but in an utterly disappointment, failed on the Rolling Hill.

Trivia

  • Iketani has been one of the most consistent competitors in SASUKE history, making it to the Third Stage 6 times.
  • Besides SASUKE, Iketani is most prominent in Monster 9's Pro Sportsman No. 1 series, which pits athletes from different sports against each other to decide who is, "Sportsman No. 1". He has won Genojin (celebrity) tournament 3 times and Pro Sportsman No. 1 once, in 2005. He specializes in the Monster Box event and broadcasts often feature Iketani attempting to break the world record for highest jump in it.
  • His older brother, former Olympian Iketani Yukio, has entered four tournaments. Ninja Warrior sometimes says that Naoki is a former Olympian, but this is false.
  • Iketani holds the record for a non-All-Star clearing the First Stage, tied with Takahashi Kenji at 9 clears, only beaten by Yamada Katsumi (10 times), Nagano Makoto (14 times), Yamamoto Shingo (16 times), Takeda Toshihiro (17 times). His record of being the Non-All-Star to clear the Second Stage was tied with Okuyama Yoshiyuki in SASUKE 27, beaten by Takahashi Kenji in SASUKE 29 who has in total cleared the Second Stage 8 times , and beaten by all-star Nagano Makoto (11 times), Yamamoto Shingo (11 times), and Takeda Toshihiro (13 times).

Results

SASUKE # Result Notes
2 90 Failed Burasagari Maruta (First Stage)
4 81 Failed Pipe Slider (Third Stage)
5 81 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
8 61 Failed Rolling Maruta (First Stage)
9 81 Failed Wall Lifting (Second Stage) Time Out. First Wall. His time ran out when he finished the Gyakuso Conveyor.
10 961 Failed Cliff Hanger (Third Stage)
11 61 Failed Cliff Hanger (Third Stage)
12 81 Failed Rope Climb (First Stage) Time Out.
13 90 Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)
14 81 Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)
15 90 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
16 90 Failed Body Prop (Third Stage)
20 1983 Failed Jumping Spider (First Stage)
21 93 Failed Flying Chute (First Stage)
22 97 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
24 90 Failed Soritatsu Kabe (First Stage) Time Out.
26 87 Failed Double Salmon Ladder (Second Stage)
27 93 Failed Double Salmon Ladder (Second Stage) Both runs digested.
28 76 Failed Rolling Escargot (First Stage)
33 41 Failed Rolling Hill (First Stage) Shown on Navi.

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