Mangaluru, Feb 18, 2020: A Kambala jockey who completed a run of 142.5 metres in 13.62 seconds, was on Monday felicitated by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. Srinivas Gowda and his buffaloes set the record in the annual race known as Kambala in Karnataka.
With a time that equates to running 100 metres in 9.55 seconds, compared to the retired Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds, social media buzz erupted over his chiselled frame.
“He’s Srinivas Gowda from Moodbidri. He ran faster than olympic medalist. He completed 142.5 mts Kambala track in 13.62 secs. He finished 100 mts track in just 9.55 sec whereas Usain Bolt finished in 9.58 sec. If he gets professional training, he will break records of legends,” said a Twitter user Mahesh Vikram Hegde.
“No Gym, No Protein, No diet Diet plan. This is real Six Pack fitness! #SrinivasGowda,” said a Twitter user Prabhasini.
“Never in my dream did I think that I would be so famous. The credit should go to my buffaloes,” said Gowda. “I could achieve this only because they cooperated with me,” he added.
He was also surprised after being compared to Bolt. “People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field,” Gowda said.
As soon as Gowda’s feat went viral, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju invited him for trials at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru. But Gowda politely refused the ofer.
“I will not be attending trials at Sports Authority of India. I want to achieve more in Kambala. Kambala and track events are different and those who have done well in one cannot replicate in the other. Many who have achieved in track events have tried Kambala and have not been successful. In Kambala we run on heels whereas in track it is on toes,” he said.
Gowda, 28, is a construction worker from Karnataka’s Moodabidri, 34 kilometres from Mangaluru.
Kambala is an annual race held in Karnataka where people sprint 142 metres through paddy fields with buffaloes. The racers try to bring the buffaloes under control by holding their reins tight and beating them up, making it amply clear that the animal plays an equally important role in achieving the timing.
Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.