SINGAPORE: If at first you don't succeed, try and try again, as the saying goes. That was certainly the case for Singaporean Abdul Hamid Jonid who was crowned the winner of the Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge 2017 on Tuesday (Oct 31). It is his 10th year taking part in the competition.
The 58-year-old, who is also known as Kacang, was the last man standing in the endurance competition, keeping his palm on the car for 74 hours and 15 minutes. That earned him the grand prize of a Subaru XV 2.0 i-S, worth S$65,000 without Certificate of Entitlement.
The annual competition challenges participants to keep their right palms on designated decals on Subaru cars as long as they can. The last contestant standing is declared the winner.
At this year's competition, which kicked off on Saturday at Ngee Ann City's Civic Plaza, Mr Abdul outlasted 399 other contestants from Singapore and other regional territories including Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
"I'm very, very happy," he told reporters. "Thanks to God - he fulfilled my wishes, and my dreams (have come true)."
When asked about the first thing he wants to do now that the competition is over, he said is going to celebrate his win with his family "who is always behind me".
The contest was down to the final five contestants by around 2.30pm on Tuesday - more than 72 hours after the official kick-off on Saturday at 1pm.
Aside from Mr Abdul, the only Singaporean, there were two contestants from the Philippines - Alex Jr Jose Neblasca and Filmark Ramos Bernante and two Vietnamese - Luan Tu Lang and Pham Duc Nhan.
Luan Tu Lang, 25, came in first runner-up, for which he won S$5,000. The Vietnamese also won another S$5,000 for being the Asian Winner, another S$1,000 for being the longest standing country winner, and will also get a share in the S$10,000 won by the country team from Vietnam.
This year's competition also saw the longest disruption in its 16-year history, when competition was suspended for nearly two hours on Monday evening due to lightning.
Last year’s winner, Singaporean Sunawr Ali, lasted more than three days - 75 hours and 58 minutes to be exact. But the record still belongs to 2014’s winner G Jaishanker, who proved his endurance with 82 hours and 16 minutes.