Published in Livemint - News
1 month ago
Bengaluru: Srinivas Gowda, the 28-year Kambala jockey from Karnataka, on Monday said that he would contemplate attempting professional track trials only after he gains formal training in the sport.
His statements somewhat dampen the euphoria around his overnight stardom that had raised the hope of bagging the elusive Olympic track medal for India after his run on the slushy fields went viral.
“I have Kambala for another month. Will discuss the trials after," Gowda said in Bengaluru, where he was felicitated by Karnataka Chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa.
Gowda attained instant stardom after a video of him storming over a slushy field in the traditional buffalo racing sport called Kamabala in the coastal district of Dakshina Kannada.
Gowda recorded a time of 13.62 seconds to run 145 meters in the traditional sport. Netizens quickly drew comparisons to Jamaican world record 100 meter runner, Usain Bolt who sprinted the distance in 9.58 seconds.
People were quick in deriving estimates from Gowda’s original 145 run, scaling it down to 100 meters to suggest that he would have run 100 meters in 9.55 seconds, beating Bolt’s speed.
Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju had offered a chance to get Gowda on the professional track and offer the training he needed to unleash his potential.
Gowda, however, was more aware about his abilities than those cheering for him online.
He said that he had never worn a shoe and had practice only running on slushy farm fields.
“Will take special training and then perhaps try," he said.
His coach, Kambala academy president K.Gunapala Kadamba, also mirroring the sentiments of his ward.
“We honour the invitation but for the time being we will not accept it," he said.
He said that Gowda would also stand to earn some money in the few months of the year through Kambala. He said that joining Sports Authority of India (SAI) was only one part but there were other factors like income that had to be considered for a person like Gowda.