Srinivasa Gowda, a 28-year-old man from Karnataka, who became an overnight sensation after a video of him running at lightning speed went viral on social media, was invited to the SAI centre in Bengaluru for trials by the Sports Ministry.
Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Youth Affairs & Sports, tweeted about the development and confirmed that Gowda had been contacted by the officials and his rail tickets had been booked.
Yes @PMuralidharRao ji. 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. We are team @narendramodi ji and will do everything to identity sporting talents! https://t.co/RF7KMfIHAD— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) February 15, 2020
While Gowda was to reach SAI centre in Bengaluru on Monday, 17th February, reports suggest that he’s apparently not going to attend the trials.
Speaking to News18, Gowda confirmed that he has decided not to take up the invitation by SAI because he wants to continue focusing on Kambala. He also said that track events and Kambala are different sports altogether.
Explaining the difference between the two, he said:
In Kambala race, heels play an important role whereas it is toes in a track race. Not just jockeys, but even Buffaloes have a role to play in Kambala. In track race, this is not the case.
Karnataka: Srinivasa Gowda from Mudbidri, Mangaluru ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds at a buffalo race (Kambala) in a paddy field on Feb1 in Kadri. He says, “People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field”. pic.twitter.com/tjq03M5m0C— ANI (@ANI) February 15, 2020
Prof Gunapala Kambada, Founder-Secretary of the Kambala Academy, where Gowda is training currently, spoke to BBC Hindi and expressed Gowda’s inability to be available for trials immediately and explained:
The problem is that he has Kambala on the next three Saturdays. That is a commitment that he cannot go back on under any circumstances. So we are not rejecting the offer. Maybe he can go for trials at a later stage.
Gowda also met Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa, today in Bengaluru and was felicitated by him for his exceptional feat.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa today felicitated Srinivasa Gowda from Mudbidri, Mangaluru who ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds at a buffalo race (Kambala) in a paddy field on February 1 in Kadri. pic.twitter.com/W3sXQKmXVL— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2020
He has been compared to Usain Bolt after he clocked a record faster than that of Bolt in the ongoing Kambala race.