At the Asian Games, athletes live on the fine edge of triumph and tragedy

A photo finish was needed to separate Kazakhstan's Alexei Lutsenko, Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu and Thailand's Navuti Liphongyu for the top three spots in the men's 150km individual road race. Another Thai Peerapol Chawchiangkwang was fourth with the same
A photo finish was needed to separate Kazakhstan's Alexei Lutsenko, Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu and Thailand's Navuti Liphongyu for the top three spots in the men's 150km individual road race. Another Thai Peerapol Chawchiangkwang was fourth with the same 3hr 25min 25sec timing.PHOTO: TISSOT

On Tuesday, a timer torments Virdhawal Khade. It's a piece of sophisticated machinery that only measures him but seems to be mocking him. It calculates his start, reaction time, speed, touch and tells him he finished the 50m freestyle in 22.47 seconds.

But third place is 22.46.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2018, with the headline 'At the Games, athletes live on fine edge of triumph and tragedy'. Print Edition | Subscribe