Indian ‘Usain Bolt’ causes quite the stir
A construction worker from India is being compared to Usain Bolt after allegedly beating the Olympic sprint king's 100m record - with the help of two huge buffaloes.
Srinivasa Gowda, from Karnataka in India's south, has since been called up for national trials after he set an incredible time of 9.55 seconds, The Sun reports.
Eight-time gold medal winner Bolt stunned the sporting world when he ran 100m in just 9.58 seconds in 2009.
Gowda was taking part in Kambala - where people sprint 142m through a field while holding on to two buffaloes.
He thrashed his opponent as he covered a distance of 145m in just 13.62 seconds.
And he sped through the first 100m in just 9.55 seconds - which is 0.03 seconds quicker than Bolt's record.
Local news outlets and even politicians were quick to highlight Gowda's performance.
The man you see sprinting like Usain Bolt in this video - Srinivas Gowda - has been contacted by Sports Authority of India upon seeing his power in Buffalo Race. His rail ticket is done— Manjinder S Sirsa (@mssirsa) February 15, 2020
Thanks to @KirenRijiju Ji for encouraging talent so promptly
That’s the power of Social Media pic.twitter.com/5UdIRdHKoW
Srinivasa Gowda from Mangaluru ran 142.5 meters in 13.62 seconds. He was contesting in the Kambala festival, a buffalo race. I believe he can give tough competition to Usain Bolt and congratulate him for his achievements.@ANI @BJP4India @KirenRijiju https://t.co/ptKCZjHGzp— RK Sinha, MP, BJP (@RKSinhaBJP) February 15, 2020
Rural India is full of talents and miracles. Meet India's own Usain Bolt. Meet the new prodigy, Srinivas Gowda...— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) February 15, 2020
Hope to see you soon as a sprinter representing India in Olympics.@KirenRijiju pls take cognizance.https://t.co/qpsfAeoDIf
As a result of his run, Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiu posted a picture of the 28-year-old in action as he vowed to train him up with the top coaches in the country.
He tweeted: "Officials from SAI (Sports Authority of India) 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."
However the governing body for Kambala was playing down any such comparisons between Gowda and Bolt.
"We would not like to indulge in any comparison with others," Kambala Academy president, Professor K Gunapala Kadamba, told the BBC.
"They (Olympic event monitors) have more scientific methods and better electronic equipment to measure speed."
Many others will also cast doubt over Gowda's recorded time - not to mention the obvious fact much of his momentum was being generated by the animals rather than his own two legs, making those Bolt comparisons even more dubious.
Gowda himself was quoted by news organisation ANI as saying: "People are comparing me to Usain Bolt. He is a world champion, I am only running in a slushy paddy field."
Buffalo race Kambala originated on the Karnataka coastline and sees runners sprint through a field for either 132m or 142m with two of the animals tied together.
It's courted controversy in the past, having been subjected to criticism from animal rights groups and in 2016 the practice was banned.
However, updated rules and regulations were enforced and in 2018 Kambala was allowed to continue.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission