Having been compared to the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt, after running at a record speed during a traditional buffalo race, this Karnataka man is nothing but modest.
Srinivasa Gowda recently ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds during the buffalo race Kambala in a paddy field in Mangalore's Kadri after which a video clip of his performance went viral leaving social media users in awe.
"People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field," he said after a Twitter post pointed out that his timing was faster than international athlete Usain Bolt, who currently holds the world record in the 100-metre race at 9.58 seconds.
Mr Gowda can be seen running barefoot alongside two buffalo in a muddy field filled with water while competing in Kambala.
Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in Karnataka. Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. Participants sprint through a field, which is normally either 132m or 142m, with two buffalo that are tethered together.
Mr Gowda, from Moodabidri in Karnataka, has now been called for trials by the Sports Ministry.
"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 is left out untested," Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted on Saturday.
Yes @PMuralidharRao ji. Officials from SAI have contacted him. His rail ticket is done and he will reach SAI centre on monday. I will ensure top national coaches to conduct his trials properly. We are team @narendramodi ji and will do everything to identity sporting talents! https://t.co/RF7KMfIHAD— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 15, 2020
Mr Rijiju said the man will reach the SAI centre on Monday. "I will ensure top national coaches to conduct his trials properly," he added.
In the past, the Kambala sport has attracted strong criticism from animal rights groups. The PETA had earlier approached the Karnataka High Court alleging Kambala involves cruelty to animals. The high court agreed and banned the sport, which led to mass outrage. However, soon after, the state government passed an ordinance or executive order to allow it, subject to some conditions.
(With inputs from ANI)