I'm reading this article:
Zbigniew Brodka of Poland won the Olympic men's 1,500 meters speed skating title by just 0.003 seconds at the Adler Arena on Saturday.
Brodka clocked one minute, 45.006 seconds with Koen Verweij of Netherlands crossing the finish line in the final heat just outside the Pole's time. Denny Morrison of Canada took bronze.
I'm a noob with physics, please forgive me.
The first thing I think is: Can you ever measure this so precisely. I'm not sure how exactly this is measured, but normally in physics, I think that you must say that a measurement is 1.45.006 $\pm$ 0.002 or something. I think that someone would have to know how this is measured to judge this, and this is maybe not so relevant on this website. But if someone knows more about this, I would like to hear it.
Now comes the physic question. Here is the start photo of Koen Verweij (in the orange suit, on the right):
The start shot is given by a man on the left, which you can't see on this photo.
Here is the start photo of the winner (Zbigniew Brodka, in the red suit on the left):
As you can see, Zbigniew Brodka is much closer to the source of the start sound, than Koen Verweij is.
I'm wondering how much the time differences would be between when Koen Verweij hears the start shot and when Zbigniew Brodka hears the startshot. Could you say that Koen Verweij was faster, if you would start the time at the moment the sounds has reached the skater ?