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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Kambala race ~ has Srinivasa Gowda ran 100M in less than 10 sec and broken Bolt too !

My favourite writer genius  Sujatha wrote a novel in Kumudam titled ’10 second mutham’ – a story of an Indian female athlete who is trained to break the barrier of 10 seconds and her emotional relationship with the coach formed the nucleus of that story.  Olympics 2008 at Beijing  was all about Usain Bolt.   In the 100M final, Bolt broke new ground, winning in 9.69 seconds.   Later he  cut a few more seconds out of that.  9.58 is the World Record and 9.69 is the Olympic record in 100M and both belong to Bolt. 

.. .. perhaps where do you run matters most !  .. .. a  kambala  is an culture of Tulunadu, Karnataka, mostly realated to harvesting – it is in fact a buffalo race on a slushy field.    Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, a region collectively known as Tulu Nadu. The kambla season generally starts harvesting of paddy this region in November and lasts until March. The kambalas are organized through kambala samithis (Kambala Associations- and one such race has turned the Nation and Global attention .. the man at the centre of attraction #SrinivasaGowda  - a Kambala jockey from Mjar simply said – I am a runner on a slushy paddy field but his images are now trending on all social media including twitter with the news that National Sports Ministry is keen to have a look at him and train him !!

Athletics is  very interesting  ~  Sprint race or 100m dash is one which is most charming. It will be all over in less than 10 secs and more replays would only reveal the actual way it finished. The video slow mo and guns would exactly pin point who actually won and the timing with which they finished – perhaps not in all races.

When Seoul Olympics was on air live in 1988, the heart throb was Ben Johnson, born in Jamaica but running for Canada – one of the firsts to break the 10 sec barrier.  It was indeed thrilling  to watch Ben Johson finish with 9.79 seconds. Actually closer to the finish, he turned his neck to see where his competitors were and started celebrating with a hallmark rise of fingers. He was praised so much and the race would remain etched in one’s memory. It is another matter that he was snatched of the Gold in a few days due to his testing positive for the prohibited drug - stanozolol.  He actually  completed the lap in 48 strides !!  As he was stripped, Carl Lewis's 9.92 became the official world record, Linford Christie of the United Kingdom, who originally won the bronze medal, was elevated to silver.

The talk in this generation is Usain Bolt who has many achievements to his credit.    A nine-time Olympic gold medalist, Bolt won the 100 m, 200 m and 4 × 100 m relay at three consecutive Olympic Games, although he lost the 2008 relay gold medal about nine years after due to a teammate's doping disqualification. He gained worldwide fame for his double sprint victory in world record times at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which made him the first person to hold both records since fully automatic time became mandatory. He is the most successful athlete of the World Championships, was the first athlete to win four World Championship titles in the 200 m and is the joint-most successful in the 100 m with three titles. Bolt improved upon his second 100 m world record of 9.69 with 9.58 seconds in 2009 – the biggest improvement since the start of electronic timing. He has twice broken the 200 metres world record, setting 19.30 in 2008 and 19.19 in 2009. His achievements as a sprinter have earned him the media nickname "Lightning Bolt".

The news on air is that a construction worker from Karnataka has reportedly  beaten Usain Bolt's 100-metre world record with the help of two buffaloes. Srinivasa Gowda, 28, from Karntaka, south-west India, was taking part in Kambala - where people sprint more than 100 metres through rice fields while holding two buffaloes - when he appeared to beat Bolt's time.  The Olympian set a pace of 9.58 seconds in 2009, but Gowda reportedly covered his first 100 metres in just 9.55 seconds. Overall, it reportedly took the construction worker just 13.62 seconds to cover the total distance of 142.4 metres.  Following his performance, which was in front of hundreds of spectators, Mr Gowda has reportedly  been called up for national trials.  He told Asia News International: 'People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field'.

Central Minister  Kiren Rijiu posted a picture of the 28-year-old in action and vowed that the top coaches in the country would train him.   He wrote: 'Yes @PMuralidharRao ji. Officials from SAI have contacted him. His rail ticket is done and he will reach SAI centre on Monday. Fans responded to the video by suggesting that Mr Gowda may end up winning gold at the Olympics. They wrote: 'This guy will surely get us a gold medal at the Olympics.' The national secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party wrote on Twitter: 'India will rise and shine the Indic way! 100 meters in just 9.55 sec is an amazing feat. Proper training to Srinivas Gowda will definitely help him to make name for the country. My best wishes'

Mr Gowda told news reporters  that he had been competing in Kambala for seven years.  The lightening-fast man also praised the two buffalo for doing so well.  Kambala roughly translates as 'paddy-growing in mud field' in Tulu, the local language.  In  2014, India's supreme court issued a ban on races with bulls. This came primarily in response to calls to ban a form of bull-fighting known as Jallikattu.  But two years later, Karnataka's state court stopped all Kambala events with an interim order.  The changes led to the sport being allowed once more in the state in 2018, but with conditions attached - including a ban on whips. 

Interesting !

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Feb 2020. Pics from twitter.

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