Srinivas Gowda runs alongside his buffalos during 'Kambala,' the traditional buffalo racing event, held at Aikala village in Dakshina Kannada district. AFP
On a track of muddy slush, Srinivas Gowda ran 142.50 metres in 13.62 seconds on Jan.31, setting a record in the traditional buffalo race known as Kambala held every year in southern Karnataka state.
The 28-year-old farmer has since become a sensation after people praised him on social media and compared him to retired Jamaican sprint superstar Bolt, who is the world's fastest man for his record run of 100 metres in 9.58 seconds.
Comparing Gowda's performance with the Jamaican star's record, commenters have assumed that the farmer would have run 100 metres in 9.55 seconds, which is 0.03 seconds faster than the Olympian's feat.
India's junior sports minister Kiren Rijiju said that authorities have called Gowda to the capital New Delhi for trials under the country's best coaches.
"Officials from Sports Authority of India (SAI) 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," Rijiju wrote on Twitter.
Many users have however cast doubts on his performance, considering the high standards of the Olympics and the help received from the buffaloes, who during the races are lashed together with ropes and outfitted with a plough while a participant matches their speed and controls them.
Gowda is a regular participant in the popular buffalo races held in the farming belts of the southern coastal state during the winter.
"I did not think I would run this fast. The buffaloes were quick and I followed them," Gowda told reporters.
The sport was briefly banned following petitions by animal rights groups who decried it as cruel, but races resumed in 2017 under government orders.
Thousands of runners, dressed head to toe in white, with bright-red neckerchiefs, gather every year for the traditional morning run, after which the animals are kept in the Bullring until the afternoon's fights.
Estonia’s Bolt, which until early 2019 was called Taxify, will on Tuesday re-enter the competitive London taxi market, promising cheaper rides to passengers and a better cut to drivers
Among those who were hospitalised this year after being injured by a bull's horns was an American who was wounded in the neck while taking a selfie.
When Belgium's coronavirus lockdown order forced star chef Isabelle Arpin to shut her fine dining establishment she could have retired to the kitchen to devise dishes for bored gourmets.
Costa Rican Flower farmers have started destroying lilies, roses and chrysanthemums after the coronavirus outbreak led to the suspension of flights to markets in the United States and Canada.
In an empty park overshadowed by Hong Kong's cramped apartment blocks, personal trainer Kristen Handford presses record on her phone and begins a workout for clients trying to stay fit at home.