Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddiyurappa on Monday honoured ace Kambala jockey Srinivas Gowda and rewarded him with a cheque of Rs 3 lakh.
“We have rewarded Gowda with Rs 3 lakh. Our government is committed to cooperate fully in promoting such athletes,” Yeddiyurappa said after felicitating Gowda.
Gowda, 28, a construction worker, took just 13.62 seconds to cover a distance of 145m in the Kambala event in Aikala village near Mangaluru in which jockeys have to sprint barefoot through paddy fields with buffaloes.
He took just 9.55 seconds to run a distance of 100m and netizens were quick to point out that he was faster than eight-time Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt.
Bolt currently holds the 100m world record at 9.58 seconds set in 2009.
Gowda became an internet sensation overnight as soon as the clip of the race went viral on social media. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was quick to react as invited Gowda for a trial at the Sports Authority of India’s New Delhi facility. However, Gowda has declined the offer.
“I want to achieve more in Kambala. I will not attend SAI trials,” said Gowda.
On Saturday, Rijiju had tweeted, “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.”
Gudapa Kadamba, the founding Chairman of Kambala Academy, had confirmed to IANS on Saturday that Gowda will not appear for the trial as he was tied up with Kambala commitments.
According to him, Gowda was super exhausted as the Kambala races stretch from 24 to 36 hours.