Srinivas Gowda, a Kambala jockey shot to fame overnight after he became the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport of Karnataka, breaking a 30-year-old record. The 28-year-old ran 142.50 meters in the traditional buffalo race in just 13.63 seconds.
“I love Kambala. The credit of my success should also go to my two buffalos. They ran very well. I chased them or drove them”, he said expressing his shock towards the elated response he was getting.
Karnataka: Srinivasa Gowda from Mudbidri, Mangaluru ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds at a buffalo race (Kambala) in a paddy field on Feb1 in Kadri. He says, "People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field". pic.twitter.com/tjq03M5m0C
— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2020
“People are comparing me with Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field,” Gowda told media.
The Kambala jockey’s speed rocked the internet when his videos went viral on social media with some even suggesting the government train him for the Olympics.
Dr Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, too took to Twitter to praise the young man. “I urge the Athletics Association of India to take this man under their wing & make an Olympic champion of him. Wonder how many hidden talents we have!” he tweeted.
Faster Than Usain Bolt? Karnataka Man Running With Buffaloes Covers 100 Metres in Just 9.55 Seconds. I urge the Athletics Association of India to take this man under their wing & make an Olympic champion of him. Wonder how many hidden talents we have! https://t.co/G7jPE2zIng
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 15, 2020
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “I’ll call Srinivasa Gowda for trials by top SAI Coaches. There’s lack of knowledge in masses about standards of Olympics especially in athletics where ultimate human strength and endurance are surpassed. I’ll ensure that no talents in India is left out untested.”
Gowda’s remarkable feat comes in the ancient sport of Kambala which is a traditional buffalo race conducted in the slushy fields of Mangalore and Udupi regions of Karnataka.
The sport, which was earlier banned due to pressure from animal rights activists, was allowed again by the previous Congress government, in the coastal region, led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who passed a special legislation for the same.