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EXCLUSIVE: Australian Ninja Warrior contestant Paul Cashion speaks out about his heart-breaking elimination

There was a social media outcry following Paul's disqualification.

By Tamara Cullen

There were many triumphs on last night's Australian Ninja Warrior, but it was the heart-breaking elimination of deaf contestant Paul Cashion that stayed with viewers.

Social media was in uproar when the fit father was sent home after his foot touched the water during the first obstacle.

While he didn't fall in and managed to recover, the rules state that no part of the body can come into contact with the water.

However, Paul, who is hearing-impaired, didn't realise he had been eliminated and continued to do the course.

Producers had to ask his stepson Josh, who was assisting with sign language from the sidelines, to inform him of his disqualification.

Paul's wife Sarah and daughter Grace were also there for support.

Social media users described the network as 'insensitive' and 'cruel' for focusing on Paul's difficult exit.

Now, the Brisbane cabinet maker speaks out about his experience.

Paul's family were nothing but supportive of his run on *Australian Ninja Warrior*.
Paul's family were nothing but supportive of his run on Australian Ninja Warrior.

"It [the course] was hard!" Paul tells TV WEEK. "The whole course was so big and intimidating. But, I didn't realise I touched the water, so that was disappointing.

"I knew what to do in the obstacles, but I was out on the first one - it was a shock!"

It was a devastating blow for Paul who has been a fan of the show for a long time.

During his introduction on last night's show, Paul said he hoped to inspire others.

"I want to show hearing people that I can do anything!" he says.

"I also want to share the story of being deaf, so that hearing people can understand what it's like. And I hope more deaf people will audition for Ninja Warrior all over the world."

Paul and his wife Sarah.
Paul and his wife Sarah.

Despite his early exit, Paul says he hasn't given up on becoming a ninja.

"I'll keep going," he says.

"I'll keep playing cricket and training at the gym to get ready for the next Ninja Warrior."

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