Srinivasa Gowda, a construction worker from Moodabidri set the new record as the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport as he covered 145 meters in 13.62 seconds at the Kambala competition. He became overnight national sensation and netizens compared him to the fastest sprinter in the world — Usain Bolt and urged sporting bodies to pay attention of the jockey. Bolt holds the world 100m record of 9.58 seconds while Gowda covered the same distance in just 9.55 seconds during a Kambala competition.
Gowda was expected to appear for trials for a track event at Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bengaluru but he declined the offer from the Union sports minister Kiren Rijiju and said he is not interested in the trials and will focus on Kambala.
Kambala involves a jockey driving a pair of buffaloes across a paddy field. The sport has been popular in villages of Dakshina Kannada, Kasargod in Kerala and Uttara Kannada for centuries.