A 41-year-old dispatch driver from Thailand last Tuesday won the 2019 edition of the Last Palm Standing – Mediacorp Subaru Car Challenge. Siripong Toosadee clocked an impressive time of 76 hours, 55 minutes and 5 seconds in the 2019 edition of the iconic urban endurance challenge held in Singapore. 

Siripong succeeded in his fifth attempt and won a brand-new Subaru Forester 2.0i-L worth THB 1.33 million. As the last contestant of the Thai contingent left standing, he also won an additional S$5,000. 

After four days of battling fatigue and enduring high humidity under the scorching sun and a short spell of rain on the last day, Siripong was visibly emotional when he was crowned the winner. This unique urban endurance competition is in its 18th year. 

Siripong said: “I entered this competition to prove myself, to challenge myself. Though I’m physically exhausted, I am extremely happy to have won, after pushing myself beyond the limit for four days. I want to thank my supporters for cheering me on. I am truly grateful to them. I am also very much looking forward to driving my new Subaru with my family and friends. For now, I would like to buy a cup of iced milk tea to celebrate my win.”

The contestants had to endure rain when the sky opened up on the last morning of the competition. For safety reasons, the contest was suspended for 40 minutes during the thunderstorm. 

It was a tough fight till the end for Siripong, who faced off against Luu Van Quoc from Vietnam. The 29-year-old self-employed Vietnamese emerged as the first runner-up and won S$1,000 as the Region Winner. Coming in third was 54-year-old Singaporean nurse, Mazlinah Ahmad, who clocked 76 hours and 9 minutes. 

The competition started on Saturday, 2 November, at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza and attracted 400 contestants from nine regions. 320 of the contestants were from Singapore. There were 10 representatives each from Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

The team from Philippines bagged the title of Regional Team Winner and S$10,000 with the longest standing time (combined timings of all 10 representatives from the same region) of a whopping 424 hours and 54 minutes. 

The last standing representative from each region also won S$1,000 each. 

Presenting the prizes to the winners were Glenn Tan, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Tan Chong International Limited and Debra Soon, Head of Group Corporate Management of Tan Chong International Limited. 

Soon said, “Congratulations to Siripong from Thailand for his unstoppable spirit. Siripong pushed past his physical and mental limits to show what it is like to be a Subaru winner! I hope he will continue to inspire others and that he enjoys his new Subaru car! I would also like to thank Mediacorp for nearly two decades of partnership. After 18 years, we are still looking for ways to further improve the competition and do better every year.”