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Get to know the talented and experienced members of Team Asia

The team has Ninjas from Japan, Vietnam and Indonesia.

David Becker/NBC

When USA vs the World returns on March 11, four teams made up of some of the best Ninjas from around the globe will converge on the stages of the National Finals.

It’s safe to say we’re all pretty familiar with the roster of the US team. We’ve been watching Joe Moravsky, Drew Drechsel, Sean Bryan and Najee Richardson compete season after season on American Ninja Warrior.

But what about the international challengers stepping up to the starting line? Let’s learn a little more about these Ninjas and their motivation to win this competition.

TEAM ASIA

American Ninja Warrior is based on Sasuke, the obstacle competition show that has a rich history in Japan. The format has also branched out to other countries, providing us with four extremely talented and experienced Ninjas.

Previously, Team Japan had competed in every USA vs the World competition, except for the edition that aired in 2017. This new episode will mark the return of Japanese competitors, along with the addition of other countries.

Team Captain: Tomohiro Kawaguchi

David Becker/NBC
  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 150
  • Hometown: Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan

USA vs the World experience:

  • Season 7

Ninja Warrior/Sasuke experience:

  • 9 seasons of Sasuke. Seasons 21-33, omitting seasons 23, 26, 28, 29

What you should know:

  • The second person to ever beat the Crazy Cliffhanger on Sasuke Stage 3, after teammate Yusuke Morimoto.
  • His life goal is to make Sasuke (and ANW) so big, that it will become an Olympic sport.
  • His favorite sport is Bouldering. He trains by bouldering twice a week for 3 hours each time, plus weights.
  • Thinks the Warped Wall is his best obstacle because he is taller than most of the Japanese competitors.

What he had to say:

“Well, two years ago, I went to the US and competed in USA vs. The World as a member of Team Japan. Last year, I went to compete in Sasuke in Vietnam, and this year was in Indonesia, where I took a part in Ninja Warrior.

I feel that I’m the most experienced Japanese [participant] in terms of the Asian Sasuke, and therefore, have a better understanding towards the competition than anyone else. I want to make the presence of Japanese Sasuke bigger, but also want to make both Japanese Sasuke and the American Ninja Warrior bigger and even more exciting.

We have champions of Asian countries, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan. As the oldest member of the team, I want to lead those champions and win the competition with strong team work.”

Yusuke Morimoto

David Becker/NBC
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’3”
  • Weight: 136
  • Hometown: Tosa, Kochi Prefecture, Japan

USA vs the World experience:

  • Season 6: Became the first person to ever complete Stage Three in US
  • Season 7

Ninja Warrior/Sasuke Experience:

  • 9 seasons of Sasuke. Seasons 18-32. Omitting seasons 20, 23-26, 28

Why you should know him

  • Youngest competitor to ever achieve Total Victory (at age 23), and only the 4th person to ever do so in Sasuke history.
  • He started competing on Sasuke at just 15 years old.
  • Feels the Rope Climb is his best obstacle because he built has trained on it more than any other obstacle.
  • Yusuke has been preparing for ANW by training on an obstacle course at home, rock climbing, swimming and watching Ninja episodes

What the team captain had to say:

“I’m very happy to be able to compete as Team Asia with Yusuke Morimoto because he is a Japanese champion who is the strongest participant in Japan. As I train to reach him, a positive atmosphere is created, where we are able to encourage and challenge each other to achieve further progress. So how I see ourselves as a team is that we are un-defeatable.”

Thuc Le

David Becker/NBC
  • Age: 26
  • Height: 5’5”
  • Weight: 121
  • Hometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

USA vs the World experience

  • First season participating

Ninja Warrior/Sasuke experienece

  • 3 seasons of Sasuke Vietnam

Why you should know him:

  • Top competitor from Sasuke Vietnam
  • Participated in and won a Ninja style competition in Singapore – called Urban Attack 4.
  • Started his own Ninja gym in 2016 after his success on season two of Sasuke – Le Thuc’s Sasuke Academy. Works there full time now and trains everyday.
  • Began doing gymnastics in college at the age of 19, and competed in intramural events. Specialized in parallel bars.

What the team captain had to say:

“With Thuc, the first time I saw him was when I participated in Sasuke in Vietnam. As I watched him, I thought that he was beyond everyone else’s level. He became the champion of the Vietnam, and I’m happy that a Vietnam champion is on our team.”

Yosua Zalukhu

David Becker/NBC
  • Age: 22
  • Height: 5’6”
  • Weight: 123
  • Hometown: Jakarta, Indonesia

USA vs the World experience

  • First season participating

Ninja Warrior/Sasuke experience:

  • One season of Sasuke Indonesia.
  • Also participated in Indonesia vs the World as team captain

What you should know:

  • Top competitor from Sasuke Indonesia
  • Was the only competitor to make it to Stage 4 at Sasuke Indonesia
  • The captain of Team Indonesia at their International competition
  • In 2014 won the National Climbing Open in Indonesia, and in 2015 came in 3rd at the National Speed Climbing Championship in Indonesia

What the team captain had to say:

“When I competed against the Indonesian team as a member of Team Japan this year, Yoshua was the leader of the opposing team. He had a strong presence as a great leader. So, I’m very happy to be on the same team with Yoshua and Thuc, who are unbeatable.”

Team Asia will compete against Teams North America, Europe and Latin America in USA vs the World, airing on Sunday, March 11. The show will be a three hour special beginning at 7pm EST on NBC.