A video of a Kambala buffalo race – a popular, indigenous sport of Karnataka – in which a man called Srinivas Gowda participated has gone viral on social media. In this sport, a pair of buffaloes are set loose to run through a course of 100 meters slightly submerged in water and its handler has to run with them while holding the leash.
The video purportedly shows Gowda completing the 100-meter run in just 9.55 seconds! If this is true, it should make the whole world stop and take notice as the world record for 100 meter sprint is 9.58 seconds and is held by, who else, Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt. The video is being shared by various Twitter users and they have tagged the Sports Minister of India Kiren Rijiju.
But things moved forward quickly when industrialist Anand Mahindra shared the video and mentioned how terrific the physique of the man is and asked Minister Rijiju to get him trained as a 100-meter sprinter.
The tweet read: "Just one look at his physique and you know this man is capable of extraordinary athletic feats. Now either @KirenRijiju provides him training as a 100m sprinter or we get Kambala to become an Olympic event. Either way, we want a gold medal for Srinivasa!"
#WATCH : Mr. Srinivasa Gowda from Moodabidre, Karnataka ran 100m in 9.55 seconds at a #Kambala (buffalo race). He was faster than @usainbolt who took 9.58 seconds to create a world record.— Shruthi Thumbri ?? (@Shruthi_Thumbri) February 14, 2020
We Indians are busy with praising others! ?@KirenRijiju @narendramodi @girishalva pic.twitter.com/eIcCS98b33
The Sports Minister responded a few minutes after Mahindra's tweet and promised to bring Gowda for testing by Sports Authority of India (SAI) coaches. "I'll call Karnataka's Srinivasa Gowda for trials by top SAI Coaches. There's lack of knowledge in masses about the standards of Olympics especially in athletics where ultimate human strength & endurance are surpassed. I'll ensure that no talents in India is left out untested," the minister wrote.
It is hard to comment on whether Gowda did indeed run as fast as is being claimed. There is a great possibility that the measurements at this event were not that accurate. Also, the man from Moodabidre in Karnataka would have been assisted in his running by the momentum of the bulls.
Still, for a man to even come close to a speed regarded faster than Bolt is quite an achievement and merits serious attention. Most people would not have been able to keep up with the buffaloes and would have lost control. The fact that he managed to keep up with them and finish the race, that too in such a small amount of time suggests he is worthy of competing at the national level at least. Let's hope the minister follows through with his promise.