Anton Fomenko - Ninja World Champion - interview
Zaktualizowano: 31 gru 2020
First of all I must say, I'm very happy that Anton said yes when I asked for the short interview. I must add that this guy is incredible nice and funny, despite having Ninja World Champion title, he remained so natural and treats other with full respect. Absolutly no signs of it went to his head. Ladys and Gentlemen below the interview with Anton.
Przeszkodowo.pl (P.): Hi Anton.
Anton Fomenko (A.F.): Hello Jacek.
P.: I’m very, very happy and thankful that you agreed to make this interview for Polish OCR & Ninja fans.
A.F.: Me too! Happy to be here!
P.: Anton, I’ve met you few weeks ago in Ustroń during Barbarian Arrow, but before we will talk about it, let’s start from the beginning. You were born in Russia, Nevinnomyssk, what was your first sports, what is your sport background, what have you did before became a professional Ninja?
A.F.: Correct! I started tumbling when I was 7, but i broke my knee… So I came back to tumbling when I was 17 and after serving in NAVY I was working in Russian Circus company for 3 years as an acrobat.
P.: When and where was your first experience with something what can be called as Ninja activity?
A.F.: First experience was in Ninja Warrior Russia 1 season.
P.: What year, how old were you?, how far did you manage? Have compete in more than one season?
A.F.: It was 2017. I made it to finals stage 2. Was big season. Only 5 people made it to this stage. No. I was working hard to be ready for season 2, but i was in USA so I couldn’t come.
P.: On your Instagram (@fomajc) except many posts from Moscow there are plenty from USA, tell us why, how and what are you doing there? 😊
A.F.: I just felt in love doing ninja warrior. So I decided to go and learn with more experienced and professional ninja athletes in USA.
P.: Wow, just like that? You are a true dream catcher ! What famous athletes you were training with?
A.F.: Yeah. It was so hard and easy same time. I just came in random gym and start talk with people. My ninja career in USA started with amazing person Mark Antioquia. He competed on couple seasons. I tested 4 cities, compete on NNL finals season 4, UNX competition, so I met almost all of them! But mostly my ninja career was influenced by Mark (@aspiring_human) and Sean Bryan (@papalninja).
P.: Can you share how do you earn for living in USA ?
A.F.: 90% was my last 5 years savings. Then I sold my car. Still have some incoming while coaching in Russia, but this is it! That’s why I said that it was easy and super hard same time. I was saving money to buy an apartment , but i decided that i can make some when I will be old.
P.: I need to ask more about your experience with Ninja Warrior, maybe you know that this year in Poland we had a first season. I know that you are a tester of Ninja Warrior courses in USA, can you tell how to get this dream job and what are pros and cons of it?
A.F.: Its quite hard question cuz it works little bit different. Testing ANW course is just volunteering. People who didn’t get a call( who get a call compete on season) but still want to be on the course can apply and come and test real ninja course. Its like investing in your ninja career.
P.: Have you also tried your skills as competitor? How far did you manage to get?
A.F.: Not allowed until 2020. Sorry.
P.: So, how long (1 year, 2 years, etc.?) you can’t compete after you were testing ANW courses?
A.F.: I got your question here. You can’t compete ANW only if you work for company. I think 2 years you not allowed to compete after you quit the job. But testing is just part of preparation. So it’s kind of volunteering. On the other hand if you best tester of the day they will give you Top Tester sticker. You can add it to your submission video next year so production knows that you helped and it gives you almost 100% that you will be on show next season.
P.: This year you won FISO World Ninja Championships in Moscow, what is your impression from this event?
A.F.: It was amazing! Great speed course. High quality obstacles. A lot of new people and a lot of fun!
P.: Looking on Top 10 from this event, it looks almost like Russian Championships, are Russians so good in Ninja style races? What is the Ninja level in USA in comparison to Russia or Poland?
A.F.: Certainly, Russians athletes had a slight advantage in this regard because they competed at home. And format ninja is different than OCR. No running. Balance and upper body obstacles only. And again its ninja competition. Hard to compare athletes. Cuz everybody can fall everywhere. You can’t do ninja and be super consistent. We all fall.
P.: Few weeks ago you were in Poland, you have been invited by Jakub Zawistowski, you had opportunity to compete in Barbarian Arrow Ustroń and you’ve also visited OSPRO Center near Warsaw. What are your impressions from race, country, people, etc?
A.F.: Oh! This is great story! First who texted me was Pawel Murawski. And we start communicate before Ninja Warrior Polska. Than he introduced me Jakub before World Championship in Moscow and we met there with Jakub. I was planning my trip to Europe and decided to visit Pawel and Jakub, but then they just helped me to be part of the Arrow competition. Was amazing coincidence! OSPRO Center great playgrond and beautiful place! Big thanks to Adrian Piorkowski. He did impressive job! Im super happy that i could make it it Poland this year. Great experience, beautiful places and amazing people!
P.: Anton, thank you very much for your time and for sharing all those stories, you are awesome, truly.
A.F.: My pleasure! Thank you for asking me!
P.: I have one bonus question, can I ? What was the longest distance have you ever run without a break?
A.F.: Its mandatory to serve in army in Russia, so we had a lot of running. I’m not sure. It was a while ago…
P.: Ok, so… in the last three years? 😉
AF. I don’t run big distance. So i can say that 800m on Arrow was my longest! I used to run 12k in circus company for lose some weight but not in competition.
P.: Thank you one more time, and I hope that we will see again soon in 2020. Best regards.
A.F.: You r welcome! Hope to see you soon! Best wishes and have a beautiful day!
Below some basic data you are looking for in Google.
Date of birth: 04.04.1989
Age: 31 years old (in 2020)
Height: 5'10 ft / 178 cm
Weight: 170 lb / 77 kg
If you wish to follow Anton on his social media you can do this on:
All photos are from Anton's Instagram account