Bangalore/ New Delhi:
A buffalo racer from Karnataka, who was called for trial by the Sports Ministry on Monday after setting a new record as the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport, Kambala, has said he would need a month’s time to attend the training sessions. The trial was arranged by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju at at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bangalore after Srinivasa Gowda’s videos went viral.
“I will not be attending trials at Sports Authority of India. I want to achieve more in Kambala,” Srinivasa Gowda, 28, told reporters, seeking a month’s time. “The Kambla tournament is going on and I would ask the SAI to give me one month’s time to turn up. I would love to be trained,” he said.
Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in Karnataka where racers splash 142 m through paddy fields holding a rope attached to two buffaloes, who run ahead of them.
Srinivasa Gowda last month ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds during the traditional race in a paddy field in Mangalore’s Kadri after which a video clip of his performance went viral on social media. Awe-struck social media users compared him to world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt.
Usain Bolt holds the world record of running 100 m of 9.58 seconds.
Replying to a BJP leader, P Muralidhar Rao’s tweet, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiu on Saturday said he has been invited for trial on Monday. “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!” he wrote.
Mr Gowda, who has participated in various Kambala competitions in the last two days, says he wants some time for rest.
“Kambala and track events are different and those who have done well in one cannot replicate in the other. Many who have achieved in track events have tried the traditional sports race and have not been successful. In Kambala, we run on heels whereas in track it is on toes,” he said.
Also, he said he would like to give credit to his buffaloes. “Never in my dream did I think that I would be so famous. The credit should go to my buffaloes,” he said.
Earlier, the 28-year-old, who was awarded Rs 3 lakh by Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa
today, had given a modest reaction when he was compared to Usain Bolt. “People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field,” he had said.
Professor KG Kadamba, Founded of Kambala Academy, said he could take a decision on Gowda’s training only after Kambala season is over. “We cannot commit right now about his training over there at the SAI. we will take decison once the Kambala Season is over,” he said.
(With inputs from AFP)