This Kambala Jockey can give Bolt a run for his money

This Kambala Jockey can give Usain Bolt a run for his money

Srinivas Gowda in action during Aikala Kambala recently.

A little known but talented youth from Ashwathapura village, near Mijar in Moodbidri, has turned into a celebrity on social media.

Srinivas Gowda, a Kambala jockey (who races along with the pair of buffaloes on the slushy track), covered a distance of 145 metres in a record 13.61 seconds in the Kambala held at Aikala recently.

Gowda has not only brought fame to Kambala but also to Kambala Samrakshana Nirvahane matthu Tharabethi Academy in Miyar.

Netizens shared the pictures of Kambala race, along with Gowda, on Facebook, twitter and other social media, and were all in praise of Gowda.

Gowda basking in adulation said, “In the recently held Negilu Hiriya category of Kambala at Aikala, I could complete the race in 13.61 seconds. All are praising me and comparing me to Usain Bolt.”

A jockey during a conventional race completes 145 metres Kambala race in Negilu Hiriya category in 15 seconds. “I have completed it within 15 seconds,” Gowda gushes.

Usain Bolt had created a record by covering 100 metres in 9.58 seconds.

Gowda had covered the 145 metres in mere 13.61 seconds. On calculating the speed versus distance, Gowda had covered 100 metres in just 9.55 seconds, said Kambala referees. ‘Taate’ and ‘Moda’ pair of buffaloes had proved to be lucky to Gowda in the Kambala.

Handsome pay

The pair of buffaloes are owned by Panila Bada Poojary of Iruvailu. The buffaloes have won me laurels at many Kambala competitions, Gowda said.  The Kambla besides thrusting Gowda into limelight has also swung his fortunes. The jockey had signed this season’s four-month long contract with the owner of buffaloes for a whopping Rs five lakh.

“The money is sure to increase two fold in the next season,” said Academy convenor K Gunapala Kadamba, who has been associated with Kambala for over five decades.

Gunapala said Gowda’s success augurs well for both Kambala and Academy.

Gowda was the student of the academy’s first batch of scientific training initiated from 2011 onwards, he added.

The month-long stint in the academy, where he learnt the skill of feeding buffaloes, helped him maintain fitness.

‘’The comparison to Bolt is not right. But we are proud of Gowda as he utilised the opportunities that came his way,” he said. Gunapala advised Gowda to reduce his participation from four to two categories in order to prolong his career as a Jockey.

“If not for the academy there would have been no trained jockeys, referees or accessories used on the buffaloes in the Kambala,” Gunapala added.

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