Mangaluru: Kambala racer Srinivas Gowda, who shot into the limelight covering 100 metres in 9.55 seconds at a traditional sporting event held at Aikala near Moodbidri, is likely to train at Sports Authority of India (SAI) facility in Bengaluru.
Officials of SAI, led by south India director Ajay Kumar Behl who witnessed the Anna-Thamma Kambala held at Paivalike in Kerala’s Kasaragod district recently, held talks with Gowda and invited him to attend training in Bengaluru.”SAI athletic coaches Kurien P Mathew and Harish were present during the discussion”, Kambala academy convener Gunapal Kadamba said.
“Since Gowda does not possess any knowledge about tracks and athletics, the academy would provide him preliminary training to run on the tracks in spikes at Swaraj Maidan in Moodbidri and Mangala stadium in the city”, he said.
Gowda, now called the ”Usain Bolt of Kambala”, was first invited by Union Sports Minister Kiran Rijju for training at SAI after coming to know about his feat through the media. Though Gowda was initially reluctant as he knew the difference between running in marshy fields and on tracks, he later agreed to give it a try.
Gowda is likely to join SAI at Bengaluru in April after the current Kambala season is over. He has so far won a record 39 medals during the current season. Kadamba said,” The Kambala season would end on 7 March after which Gowda’s trip to Bengaluru will be decided. He needs some rest after the season and SAI has been apprised of it”.
Kambala academy trainer Vasanth Jogi, a national athletic trainer, will provide initial training to Gowda, he said.
Gowda is a construction worker at Moodbidri, who has earned stardom in the Kambala fields in the last few years. He runs barefoot in Kambala races and had never used a spike shoe before.