Usain Bolt now has some competition, and it comes from nowhere else but India. A Karnataka villager got fame overnight when the news surfaced that he ran 142.5 meters in mere 13.62 seconds. He ran this in Kambala, a traditional buffalo race.
Srinivasa Gowda, 28, made the run and by the end of the race, he had demolished a record that stood firm for 30 years in the traditional sport of this coastal region. His run time was then got compared to Usain Bolt’s sprint time, which is also the world record, of 9.58 seconds in 100 meters sprint.
As Gowda’s lightning-fast speed helped him cover 142.50 meters in just 13.62 seconds, people calculated his supposed time for 100 meters. After the calculations, it turned out that Gowda had it was just a 100-meter run, would have completed the race in just 9.55 seconds. This makes it .3 seconds faster than Usain Bolt.
However, this may not be a justifiable comparison as in Kambala, the jockey runs with a pair a buffalo which makes the jockey run faster as the buffaloes pull him.
But, on the other hand, the race is conducted on a sludgy field, which restricts a person (and the animals) from reaching their top speed.
If we keep the comparisons aside, what Gowda had achieved was simply extraordinary.
Kambala is an old tradition that is celebrated in Mangalore and Udupi in Karnataka where both buffaloes and their jockey run in muddy and sludgy fields. Several of the villages organize Kambala where tens of people participate along with their buffaloes.
People train themselves and their buffaloes just for this event.
The locals present at the event witnessed Gowda’s extreme speed said that after he completed the race, his face filled with joy which truly reflects the culture and tradition of Kambala.
As the news surfaced, Gowda became a sensation, overnight. When media talked to him he said he was equally surprised by the overwhelming response he is getting from people. He said, “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”.
His colossal feat gave him recognition from all over the globe with thousands of people sharing it on both Facebook and Twitter.
People suggested that the government should not let this talent go to waste and train him for global competitions, like the Olympics.
In the past, Kambala was banned after the animal rights activists pressurized the government as the event involves the jockey whipping the animals in order to make them run faster. However, Siddaramaiah, then the Chief Minister of Karnataka passed special legislation to make the tradition legal again.
It is seen that at some Kambala events, the winner’s price can go as high as several lakhs.