Kambala star ‘India’s Usain Bolt’ Srinivas Gowda says no to national trials

An Indian buffalo racer similar to Usain Bolt, an Olympic sprinter, declined an official government offer inviting him to compete in national trials.

Srinivasa Gowda, a jockey in Kambala’s famous buffalo race, became a national sensation overnight last week. Gowda broke the record at the annual Kambala race through 142,5 meters in 13,62 seconds with his buffaloes which have held in the village of Aikala, about 30 km from Mangaluru, Karnataka

His success drew comparisons with Usain Bolt, who had currently holds a record of 9.58 seconds in the world’s 100 meters. Kambala is a local sport in Karnataka state where the participants have a sprint with buffaloes over paddy fields.

Through local news and social media, this news spread all over India and Gowda received official recognition from India’s sports minister, Kiren Rijiji.

Mr. Gowda has told BBC Hindi as he is not going to the national sprint trials.”I have injured my leg and my focus is on Kambala. I am used to running with buffalo in the paddy fields,” he told.

Rijiju tweeted on Saturday and said the authorities had arranged train tickets for the racer so that he can take part in the trials at one of India’s Sports Authority (SAI) centers.

The training is managed by Kambala Academy. Gunapala Kambada secretary of the academy has said in a conversation with BBC that this time Gowda is not going to be attending the trials.

“The problem is that he has Kambala [races] on the next three Saturdays,” Kambada said.

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