The 400 metre dash sprinting event will be held at a field track with 5 lanes. 25 athletes will be participating in total, of which, obviously, only 5 can be running together at a time. Define the minimum number of dashes required to determine the 3 fastest athlets of all, so that they are awarded the gold, silver and bronze medal. Which athletes will be running in each dash?
We assume that each athlete performs exactly the same in each dash. The results of the event will be determined by the relative classification of the athletes and not by their exact times. We only need to determine the 3 fastest athletes and not to follow the exact procedure which usually is followed at such events. (Obviously we cannot use a stopwatch).