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'Govt Committed In Promoting Such Athletes': Karnataka CM Honours Kambala Jockey Gowda

Kambala Jockey Srinivasa Gowda, who has caught the attention of India, was honoured by Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday. He rewarded him with Rs 3 lakh.

Karnataka

Kambala Jockey Srinivasa Gowda, who has caught the attention of the country, was honoured by Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa on Monday. He rewarded him with a cheque of Rs 3 lakh. "We have rewarded Gowda with Rs 3 lakh. Our government is committed to cooperate fully in promoting such athletes," Yediyurappa said after felicitating Gowda.

'I never thought I will run this fast'

"I never thought I will run this fast. The main role was played by the buffaloes and the owner. He looked after them well. The buffaloes can run even faster," Gowda said after meeting with Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. 

Gowda, who was called for trial by the Sports Ministry on Monday after setting a new record as the fastest runner in the history of the traditional sport, Kambala, said that he would need a month's time to attend the training sessions. The trial was arranged by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bangalore after Srinivasa Gowda's videos went viral.

"I will not be attending trials at Sports Authority of India. I want to achieve more in Kambala," Srinivasa Gowda, 28, told reporters, seeking a month's time. "The Kambala tournament is going on and I would ask the SAI to give me one month's time to turn up. I would love to be trained," he said.

'I am only running in a slushy paddy field'

Srinivasa Gowda last month ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds during the traditional race in a paddy field in Mangalore's Kadri after which a video clip of his performance went viral on social media. Awe-struck social media users compared him to the world's fastest man, Usain Bolt. The retired Jamaican sprinter holds the world record of running 100 m in 9.58 seconds.

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While speaking about people comparing with Usain Bolt, he had said, People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field."  Kambala involves a jockey driving a pair of buffaloes across a paddy field. The sport has been popular in villages of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Kasargod in Kerala for centuries.

READ | VP Naidu congratulates Kambala Buffalo Racer, compliments Rijiju for acknowledging it

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(With agency inputs) (Image credit: Twitter/@BSYBJP)

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