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October 30, 2012

Mediacorp Subaru Challenge 2012 Crowns Winner After 78 Hours

The MediaCorp Subaru Challenge 2012 – The Asian Face-Off came to a sensational close today, with 42-year-old Singaporean Gan Yu Shen Tholmas taking top honors in a grueling 78 hours 30 minutes face-off, clocking the second longest winning time in the 11 years of the Challenge.

The three-time participant, Mr. Gan, was a direct entry contestant who was selected from an online competition organized by Motor Image on the “I Love Subaru’ Facebook fan page.

The atmosphere throughout the final day of the competition was electric as supporters for the remaining contestants rallied from early morning, shouting words of encouragement and holding up banners in an effort to keep spirits high around the competition arena held at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

At the 1pm break, 10 contestants remained in the contest. However, the extreme exhaustion resulting from a prolonged period standing in unusually hot weather conditions finally took its toll as the other contestants dropped out in rapid succession. 

At around 2.30pm, contestants from the regional teams and Singapore were neck-to-neck with four on each side vying to win the top prize of a Subaru car.

In the end, the third-time participant who works as a software engineer, Gan Yu Shen Tholmas, finally edged out his rivals in a marathon event that fell just short of the 80-hour 32-minute record set in 2008.

Mr. Gan acknowledged his victory by thanking his supporters and asked for a bottle of iced water.

Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director, Tan Chong International Ltd and Ms. Dahlia Z, Vice President, English Programming (Music), MediaCorp, presented the coveted prize, a Subaru XV 1.6 worth S$80,800 (without COE) to a surprisingly still-lucid Mr. Gan.
Runner up, Mr. G Jaishanker received a S$5,000 cash prize. The 47-year-old catering officer is a first-time participant in the challenge and he promised to return to the next year.

Mr. Gan (the winner) said, “I am very excited to be the winner since this is my third time participating in the challenge for three consecutive years. I am really happy to win the car and I can’t wait to see my family after being away for four days.”

The regional contestants put up a great fight but could not match the staying power of the ‘acclimatised’ locals to win the competition.

In recognition of their efforts, the title of Country Winner and a cash prize of S$1,000 went to the last standing representative from each country. For the Philippines, the honor went to Alex Neblasca who did 65 hours.

The last-standing regional contestant, Samach Tepsen from Thailand walked away with S$5,000 in cash and the title of Asian Winner. He was also the second runner-up with a timing of 76 hours 8 minutes.

The Country Team Winner title – with a cash prize of S$10,000, was awarded to the Vietnam team who achieved the longest combined standing time of 761 hours 24 minutes (the total time of all 10 representatives from the same country).

“This was a rather surprising result in the 11-year history of the event. After the blistering heat of the first two days I was convinced there would be an early finish to this year’s event and I am totally amazed at the resilience of the contestants. They really did dig incredibly deep to stay the distance, “ said Mr. Glenn Tan, Executive Director, Tan Chong International.

“Even before the challenge, Mr. Gan showed incredible enthusiasm with his long post of 20 inspirational quotes on our Facebook fan page for our direct entry competition. That won him a well-deserved place in the Challenge where he showed his determination and commitment right from the time he took part in the direct entry contest to ensure a spot in the competition and all through the competition where he outlasted everyone to take home the car,” he added.

Ms. Dahlia Z, Vice President, English Programming (Music), MediaCorp said, “This year the Subaru Challenge not only faced intense heat from the sun which caused many contestants to drop out faster, we also had a very strong regional contingent. We congratulate Mr. Tholmas Gan. You’ve outlasted an extremely determined group of contestants  - local and foreign, to become this year’s deserving winner.

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