Mangaluru: This Kambala season in southern Karnataka has turned interesting with jockeys seting new records. Two records have been set in the past 15 days.
Srinivas Gowda, nicknamed India’s Usain Bolt by clickbait media, created a record last week by covering 142.5 m on the Kambala track in a mere 13.62 seconds at Aikala on February 1.
But wait till you hear this: Another jockey Nishanth Shetty covered 143 m in 13.61 seconds during the Kambala held at Venur on Sunday.
That’s faster than Srinivas Gowda!
When converted into 100 m, if Gowda would have covered Usain Bolt’s distance in 9.55 seconds, Nishanth Shetty would have done it in 9.52 seconds.
While that is not a valid method to compare speeds of athletes, it is clear that Nishanth Shetty did break the record of Srinivas Gowda and became one of the fastest jockeys in the history of Jodukare (two-buffalo) Kambala.
Srinivas Gowda's achievement has gone viral and attracted the attracted the attention of the state and union governments. The Karnataka government invited Srinivas Gowda to Bengaluru to give him a cash prize, etc. Though union minister for sports Kiren Rijiju ordered his minions in the sports Authority of India to invite Srinivas Gowda to undergo trials for India’s athletics team, the Kambala jockey politely refused, pointing that comparisons of Kambala and flat-track sprints in not valid.
The Kambala season has almost reached the end with only three more events scheduled in the next three weeks, the last one being on March 7 at Bangady.
Since 2015, Kambala has been witnessing new records being set.
According to sources, Irvattur Anand grabbed everyone’s attention in 2015 when he covered 100 m in about 9.57 seconds. Anand is considered as one of the fastest Kambala runners and he has served as a trainer at the Kambala Academy. In the last Kambala season, another jockey Sathish Shetty covered the distance at the same speed.
Kambala lovers feel that with the Jockeys covering the track in record time this year, the next three events would definitely be a crowd puller. There are 2-3 Kambala jockeys who are said to have the capacity to run almost as fast as Srinivas Gowda and Nishanth Shetty. Now all eyes are on them to see if they will set any new record in the next three events.
"Till now Kambala was a local sport. But now after Gowda and Shetty’s records, the event has attracted the nation's attention. More people want to see Kambala now and the next events would attract more people," Roopesh, a progressive farmer and Kambala lover from Belthangady said.