New Delhi: Srinivasa Gowda, a 28-year-old Kambala jockey from Moodabidri near Mangaluru became the talk of the town after he set a new record as the fastest runner in the Kamabala race. Gowda covered the first 100 metres 143-metre-long race in a smashing record time of just 9.55 seconds, enough to compare him to the legendary athlete Usain Bolt.
Bolt has a current global record of covering 100-metre race in 9.58 seconds, and 200-metres in 19.19 seconds, both won at the 2009 Berlin World Athletics Championship.
For the Kambala athlete, it only took him 13.62 seconds to cover the entire distance of the traditional race that was conducted at Aikala village about 30 kilometres from Mangaluru.
Gowda broke a 30-year-old record that dates back to the early 1990s. Throughout the Kambala season, he has bagged a total of 29 prizes in the 12 races he participated in this year.
A school dropout and construction labourer in the off-season, Gowda has always been passionate towards buffalo races and started actively participating in his passion about five to six years ago. It takes him a whole month of training before he can step into the races.
Kambala is an ancient traditional sport conducted in the form of a Buffalo race in muddy and slushy paddy fields, driven by a whip-lashing farmer jockey. The race is held in the rural parts of Karnataka, mainly around the Mangalore and Udupi regions. The event is held every year as a form of entertainment for the villagers in the area.