PAMPLONA, Spain (AP) — An Australian woman was seriously injured after being gored during the final bull run of this year's annual San Fermin festival in Spain on Sunday. Four other runners were also hospitalized after sustaining cuts and bruises.
The 23-year-old woman was gored in the back and undergoing surgery, a regional government statement said. She was only identified by her initials, J. E.
The woman was struck by a massive Miura bull as she clung to wooden barriers yards outside the bullring entrance, regional health authority spokesman Javier Sesma said.
It is very rare for women to be gored since most of the runners are men. Javier Solano, a San Fermin expert working for national broadcaster TVE, said records showed only two other women had been injured by gorings in the recent history of the fiesta.
Other runners got tossed by the bulls or fell as they ran. The other injured were a 39-year-old man from California, a 23-year-old man from Madrid and two other men from Navarra, according to a statement from the regional government, which organizes the festivities. None of those injuries were classified as serious, the statement said.
Miura bulls are renowned as Spain's largest and fastest fighting bulls, and Sunday's run was quick, taking 2 minutes, 16 seconds to cover 928 yards (850 meters) from stables just outside Pamplona's medieval stone wall to the central bullring.
Despite the animals' size and muscle-bound appearance, experts admire Miuras for their explosive acceleration, stamina and grace, characteristics that inspired legendary Italian car maker, the late Ferruccio Lamborghini, to name one of his iconic sports cars after the breed.
The San Fermin festival, which honors the patron saint of this northern city, dates back to the late 16th century and is also known for its all-night street parties where copious quantities of red wine from Navarra and Rioja are consumed and sprinkled around.
The festivities were made famous by Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."
Associated Press writer Harold Heckle contributed from Madrid.