Hyderabad: The debate on who is the fastest man on earth seems to have taken a new meaning, thanks to 28-year-old Srinivas Gowda from Miyar Moodabidre in Dakshina Kannada district, whose dash is drawing comparisons to Usain Bolt.

Srinivas Gowda’s shot to limelight on February 1 when he completed a ‘Kambala’ or a buffalo race (popular locally) on a wet paddy field in just 13.62 seconds. He ran a distance of 142.50 meters in 13.62 seconds. When calculating the time taken to complete 100 metres, it comes to 9.55 meters, which is a mindboggling 0.03 seconds less than that of Bolt’s race into history.

Kambala race is a traditional competition in Mangalore and Udupi. Each competitor has to run with his buffaloes on a slushy paddy field with the winner taking lakhs in prize-money, hence the importance. In Kambala, the individual whips his buffaloes in order to sprint quickly. However, animal lovers and activists staged a protest against the whipping. The game was then banned, which was subsequently lifted by the Siddaramaiah government.

Bolt ran 100 metres in 9.58 second in the 2009 World Championship at Berlin.

Srinivas participated in a auffalo race where the competitor’s pace increases with that of the buffaloes. Bolt ran on synthetic and athletic track whereas Srinivas ran on a slushy paddy field, which is comparatively more grueling.

Belonging to Miyar Moodabidre, Srinivas comes from a poor family. Completing his 10th standard, Srinivas began participating in the Kambala race from its 18th edition. He also broke a 30-year-old record while clocking 9.55 seconds.

Srinivas said, “I love Kambala. My buffaloes play a vital role in this victory. They ran wonderfully. I just followed them.”

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