Digital Timing – Supermarket Model Is the Best Example Posted on September 18, 2018

By Rameshon


Picture 1 – Nett time is slower than gross time. In Supermarket products are scanned and correct price comes out, as such, this model will be helpful of vendors in – charge of timing in a race. 

From year 1989 and 1992,  I was coming in champion for races, between 5km race and marathon, in Singapore, for three years, doing quality timing, from 1989-1992. In October, 1992, I left for my further studies and was enrolled into Loughborough University of Technology. I finally did 31min 46sec for 10km in year 1993, 5 weeks before doing the April, 1993, London Marathon, where I did 2hr 29min. In September, 1993, I did 2hr 28min in Berlin Marathon. Later on, I did 2hr 24min 22sec in Chiangmai SEA Games 1995, and broke my own national record of 2hr 28min.

As an athlete, I was always particular of distance and time for training, as, on the track, we have distance marking. On roads, we do not have. By believing in precision, I was able to mark out distances, and that allowed me to keep improving. If one does not know the distance, it will become hard to improve. This is a tip that I am sharing to the public, for improvement to take place for individual so that one can do personal best in races.

Those days, we do not have GPS and Garmin etc. However, with these gadgets, it was found that whatever I had marked out in the past was found to be correct.  So, in races, later on, we had the technology of capturing the chip time.

When a chip time is taken at the start of the race, after crossing the start line, and again it is taken after completing the finish of the race, we will know our nett time. Immediately, if there is a screen, the results would be able to be churned out. It is that simple.

A friend of mine told me, “What is the purpose of giving something before the race to wear at our shoelace that is going to give us the chip time, and they get the nett time slower, or the instant time of crossing the line is not there, these vendors that are responsible for timing must learn to work like the Supermarket. The moment the product is scanned, then out comes the price to be paid. It is that simple and no thinking is needed. Anything done, the results must be retrieved in milliseconds, then the organiser can wait to verify on the winner by taking their time.”

I agree with this as we are in a high technological age, and it is surprising that we are not able to churn out the results asap. The moment a runner crosses the line of finish, there should not be any contradiction of results, as the timing should be captured for the specific individual.

In Gold Coast Marathon, for example, I was fascinated of 6 computers for people to view the result and it was immediate. All gross and nett time were out instantly. And, as for today, what made me to write this is because of the idea my friend gave. If things are workable in Supermarket, it should be able to work in a race easily in Singapore.

In one of the recent race, a parent went to check whether the child had won the top 3. The official attending to results simply told that the child was not even top 10. That was preposterous. I felt that they should have told, “I do not know”, to everyone, unless they get the correct result. However, one need to know that people have to wait for several hours and they don’t know the result. Later, the next few days, it was found that the child was top 5. I feel that the official had thrown cold water into the person’s enthusiasm, as the parent went back home thinking that the official was right, and the child has not improved. A few days later, it was found otherwise, and the parent was wondering why the official say the child was not even top 10.

So, for prize winners, the officials should be able to tell whether the person won or not. The digital timing of each athlete MUST be out, and tentative results must be out, so that if the parent do not have to wait so long. I have seen many prize winners, without the potential winner, tag, had to wait and they don’t know whether the child has got a prize. Some parents do wait to find out the result of the child and know that the child did not win and they have waited for more than 3 hours sometimes and this is not fair.

One of the public have told me, “I hope that something can be done and fast!”

Edited By Tan Mariviv!