Not Just Srinivas Gowda, Even the Duo Buffaloes were Responsible for BEATING Usain Bolt’s Record?

Not Just Srinivas Gowda, Even the Duo Buffaloes were Responsible for BEATING Usain Bolt’s Record?

But why the Government support only to one person, when there are super athletes who have shined and brought glory to the state and India but no support from government whatsoever. Even the Marathon runner Rakshith Shetty from Moodabidri who has broken 19 Guinness World Records (Ref:  Another Feather To His Cap! Marathon Runner Rakshith Shetty Attains 19th Guinness Record), has until now never been recognized from his community nor by the government for his great achievement. Now that one more Kambala jockey Nishanth Shetty from Karkala has beaten Srinivas Pooajry’s record, will be also felicitated by CM and with a Big Fat cheque-hope so! I think this is all publicity and political stunt to promote Kambala and take it to greater heights.

Mangaluru: This story is like “Which came First, the Chicken or the Egg? If one has been following the headline news in print and electronic media since last couple of days, you’ll see the story of a young man making history in the sport called Kambala, and after this young man became an overnight sensation when Politician, Writer and MP of Lok Sabha-Shashi Tharoor highlighted him in a tweet calling him faster than Usain Bolt. Faster Than Usain Bolt? Karnataka Man Running With Buffaloes Covers 100 Metres in Just 9.55 Seconds. I urge the Athletics Association of India to take this man under their wing & make an Olympic champion of him. Wonder how many hidden talents we have,” he had tweeted. Wow- sounds great but how far the 9.55 seconds record is true, it surely does need a reality check. Period!

And this morning reading the news, where the Kambala jockey cum hero Srinivas Gowda after receiving the felicitation and big-fat cheque of Rs 3 lakh from CM Yediyurappa has said, “I never thought I will run this fast. The main role was played by the buffaloes and the owner. He (owner) looked after the buffaloes very well. I believe the buffaloes can run ever faster,”. He is eagerly awaited by officials from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for eligibility trials. However, Gowda is in no hurry as he wants to complete the Kambala season first and only after March 10 will he approach the SAI officials. Gowda has also said that he should not be compared to sprinter Usain Bolt. Well, Gowda is damn right with his comments.

Even Professor K Gunapala Kadamba, President, Kambala Academy speaking to media had said that Srinivasa has brought much needed attention to the traditional rural sport of Kambala and that they are waiting to see him complete in national and international forums such as the Olympics. But Kadamba says that one cannot compare Srinivasa Gowda and Usain Bolt as both run in different grounds. “We can’t compare Usain Bolt to Srinivasa Gowda. Even tomorrow, if Bolt participates in Kambala, he cannot be like Srinivasa Gowda,” he added. Then why is everyone making a big deal and giving so much attention/publicity about this achievement of Gowda, when he himself admits that he is not a hero when compared to Bolt, and even the president of the Kambala Academy had his version on the same.

Prof Kadamba’s response came after several local newspapers and journalists made the comparison between Gowda’s performance and the Jamaican sprinter’s world record time. However, the records cannot be directly compared as the Kambala jockey was running alongside a pair of buffaloes and the speed generated was also by the animals. However, the race was run in a slushy field, which can only be a speed deterrent. But the governing body for Kambala has warned against comparing him to Bolt. “We would not like to indulge in any comparison with others. They [Olympic event monitors] have more scientific methods and better electronic equipment to measure speed.” had said Kadamba.

Is this all about publicity stunt? Or is just to promote Kambala and take it to greater heights through Gowda’s achievement, when there had been lot on controversies about the Kambala sport with objections raised from Animal activists groups. So when Srinivas Gowda himself was humble enough to admit that Bolt is a world class athlete and he was nowhere in comparison, then why all of this too much Nataka in media and elsewhere. Important factor is how the speed was developed. Kambala follows a hand timing system unlike Bolt’s track meets where it is electronic timings. These timings do vary. Another fact of the matter is that Gowda’s speed is also generated with the help of the speed of the buffaloes. Whereas Bolt’s speed is naturally generated. There is more hype than truth in the statistic.

Very well said, and sources reveal that Olympic is a professional sport with highly trained athletes who make into it and the tracks , timing equipment and time keeper are top notch and far behind our animal sport, Kambala is a traditional sport and track cannot be accurate from zero to 100 Mts or the timer, the track measure and timing has to be set by professional team which takes a lot of time and setting, and here we are indirectly insulting Indian top athletes who does their training day and night. They bring laurels, name and fame to our Country, but their efforts are hardly recognized, with no felicitations nor BIG cheques. In that case, Srinivas Gowda is lucky to get all this attention from the government. Seems like a total political gimmicks in order to give a boost to the Kambala sport.

Two seconds but holding onto two buffaloes. It was their momentum and speed that propelled him to these speeds is what experts claim. In the track that Gowda competed in, there is a laser beam network system with electronic timings at the finish point but for the start, it is still manually operated. But Professor Kadamba had promised that it will change from the next Kambala season so that there is much greater accuracy and transparency. Even the state government has said that it is ready to provide Gowda all the necessary support to see him excel and bring laurels to the nation. “We are ready to provide him with training. After the eligibility tests with SAI, we will provide him with all what is needed,” had CT Ravi, Kannada and Culture minister.


But why the Government support only to one person, when there are super athletes who have shined and brought glory to the state and India but no support from government whatsoever. Even the Marathon runner Rakshith Shetty from Moodabidri who has broken 19 Guinness World Records (Ref: Another Feather To His Cap! Marathon Runner Rakshith Shetty Attains 19th Guinness Record ), has until now never been recognized from his community nor by the government for his great achievement. Now that one more Kambala jockey Nishanth Shetty from Karkala has beaten Srinivas Poojary’s record yesterday, will be be also felicitated by CM and given a big fat cheque- I hope so. Seems like this is all publicity and political stunt to promote Kambala and make it look great and take it to greater heights.

The 28-year-old ‘Kambala jockey’ had run 142.5m in 13.62 seconds which is equivalent to 100m in 9.55 seconds. Bolt’s record is 9.55 seconds to run the same distance, which is a world record at the moment. Kambala is a buffalo race where a man has to run with the buffalo. He achieved this feat on February 1 and has been doing this for 7 years. But before we all elevate Gowda to the level of Bolt, let’s remember a few things. Can one equate a race with buffaloes to that of one involving humans. Not to mention the different conditions, the training that Bolt had to give him an edge. Taking in all these factors, can one actually say Gowda is of the same level.


The man himself was humble enough to admit that Bolt is a world class athlete and he was nowhere in comparison. And let’s be brutally honest. It is true. Also one other important factor is how the speed was developed. Kambala follows a hand timing system unlike Bolt’s track meets where it is electronic timings. These timings do vary. Another fact of the matter is that Gowda’s speed is also generated with the help of the speed of the buffaloes. Whereas Bolt’s speed is naturally generated. Another place where Bolt trumps Gowda.

Bolt’s speed is 27.8 mph. but sources reveal that while buffaloes have been known to run at 35 mph, the fact that time was not recorded electronically suggests that there is no specified correctness of it. There is more hype than truth in the statistic. He’s not alone in this regard and this idea of fans going overboard is not an isolated incident. It is learnt that, in 2019, Rameshwar Gurjar was reputed to run 100 m in 11 seconds. But after SAI arranged a trial run, he finished last and has not been heard of again. Hima Das was hailed for winning 5 gold medals in a month in Europe. But the truth was that her timings were nowhere near being those of international standards and her opponents were hardly at top level.

I am not discouraging Srinivas Gowda’s efforts and success in Kambala, but his recent achievement putting Usain Bolt down is not appreciable. How can you say that Gowda did beat Bolt’s record? Does the Kambala has the right equipment to check the speed like they have in Olympics? I bet not. And also at the end point, the buffaloes reach first followed by the jockey- and the speed check is tracked on the buffaloes- so how can Gowda get the status of breaking the Olympic record set by Bolt.

Let me give few other examples- just because the driver of a Mangaluru-Udupi reached the final destination at a record speed ( by disobeying signal lights, running over a few stray animals, knocking down couple of cyclists etc), that doesn’t mean that he broke a record set by a Grand Prix race driver. Or like a driver of route no 43 or 44 bus, from Mangaluru to Ullal, raeched the final destination in a record time beating a race driver, that doesn’t mean he broke a international race driver’s record. Similarly has been the case in this Kambala incident of Srinivas Gowda’s record. He should run by himself without the buffaloes, in the slush field- and then only we can prove his speed. And also he should show his speed in Delhi when the SAI has invited for trails- if he proves his speed like he did at the Kambala race- then Srinivas Gowda is a true hero, and does beat Bolt’s record.

In conclusion, soIndian athletics needs a reality check. This case of Gowda is the best example to show that we let our emotions get the better of us instead looking at the facts. So for the record, in all that is fair, Gowda is nowhere close to Bolt in speed. Comparing apples with oranges is not a fair estimate. Comparisons should be made among equals.

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Henry James

The best test is to make Usain Bolt run in kambala race. We can put the whole thing to rest.