SINGAPORE: It all went right on the fifth try for Mr Yusman Wright at the 12th Subaru Challenge which concluded on Tuesday.
The 43-year-old real estate agent won an S$85,000 car after keeping his hand glued to it for some 75 hours.
At the 72nd hour, the race was down to two men. By then, their physical discomfort was apparent.
The pressure was also heating up, as event marshalls kept watch on their every move.
Just one minute past the 75th hour, 35-year-old Sunawr Ali brought the race to a close.
Mr Yusman Wright said: "I couldn't lift up my hand... and I don't know whether it's the right time because everybody was giving me instruction not to move my hand.
"I really couldn't lift my hand, I don't know whether 'should I or shouldn't I'. My hand is just too heavy, it's cramped anyway."
Yusman was participating for the fifth year running, but he nearly didn't make it.
His 18-year-old daughter, Novell Erysha, said: "My mum… doesn’t really agree with him joining this because we know how hard it is for him to just stay on, and then suddenly you don't win.
“So this year, he joined without my mum knowing. And then when he got the letter, he told my mum. So my mum was shocked, but she had no choice.
“When he was showing signs that he has back pain and all, of course you feel pitiful and just asked him to give up and all, but he didn't, he pushed through.”
Yusman said: "I'm just so happy that I finally, after five years, (won) this Subaru. It's all in the mind.
"If you join with the right focus in the mind… if you just go on that you want to achieve... win this car, then just focus on that. I think it's all in the mind."
Sunawr Ali, the first runner-up, took home S$5,000 cash.
It is the sixth time the training officer was taking part, but he said it was unlikely he would be back next year.
He said: “Enough is enough, six years already. I feel satisfied, after so long I came in second.
“Even though I didn't get first, I still feel happy I reached the desired range. I was aiming for top five but in the end I came in second.
“They were saying I lift off my palm -- perhaps subconsciously. But if personally you ask me, then I say that I did not lift the palm.
Tan Chong International executive director Glenn Tan said: "This year has been very challenging… the first day was very, very hot, and then the past few days it's been very cold, under the threat of rains. So I think the hot and the cold is actually just worse than just very hot.
“I think a lot of the contestants were shivering and it's been quite a tough challenge. But I think the winner, really, he wouldn't even let go of his hand even after he had won. He just wanted to be sure and he's been in the contest before, so I think it's a well-deserved win for him."
There was a little drama in the afternoon when it was down to the last five contestants. Just moments before their 1pm break, the last standing regional contestant from the Philippines had let go of his hand just seconds before he was allowed to because he was distracted by his supporters' countdown, which was faster than the official timing.
The Filipino team still bagged the Country Team prize worth S$10,000 for having the longest combined standing time.
The longest overall record was set in 2008 at 81 hours 32 minutes. - CNA/ec
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