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‘Indian Bolt’ called up for SAI trials

Rijiju asked SAI coaches to conduct a trial of the 28-year-old Kambala jockey Gowda

By Agencies in New Delhi
  • Published 16.02.20, 3:27 AM
  • Updated 16.02.20, 3:27 AM
  • a min read
Srinivasa Gowda during the buffalo race Kambala, at Aikala village near Mangalore (Picture: Twitter/@PMuralidharRao)

Kambala racer Srinivas Gowda, whose running exploits during a traditional buffalo race in Karnataka has evoked a social media frenzy, will be assessed by expert coaches at SAI centre, Bangalore, on the instruction of sports minister Kiren Rijiju.

On Saturday, Rijiju had asked the top SAI coaches to conduct a trial of the 28-year-old Kambala jockey Gowda after video clips of him running a distance of 100 metres in just 9.55 seconds have surfaced.

Gowda, a construction worker from Moodabidri, took just 13.62 seconds to run a distance of 145m, covering the first 100m in 9.55 seconds, at Kambala at Aikala village near Mangalore, prompting some on social media to compare him with Usain Bolt, whose 100m world record is 9.58 seconds.

“I’ll call Karnataka’s Srinivasa Gowda for trials by top SAI coaches. There’s lack of knowledge in masses about the standards of Olympics especially in athletics where ultimate human strength & endurance are surpassed. I’ll ensure that no talents in India are left out untested,” Rijiju wrote on his Twitter handle.

The SAI later said on Twitter that Gowda’s train tickets have been booked and he will be assessed in Bangalore on Monday. “We have reached out to #SrinivasaGowda and booked his train ticket.

“He will be in SAI’s Bangalore centre on Monday,” the SAI wrote.

Kambala is an annual race held in Karnataka where people sprint 142 metres through paddy fields with buffalo. During the race, 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.