Australian woman gored in last running of bulls at Spanish festival

Pamplona, Spain, Jul 14 (EFE).- A 23-year-old Australian woman was gored during the final running of the bulls Sunday at the San Fermin festival in the northern Spanish city of Pamplona, becoming the fifth woman, all of them foreigners, gored at the iconic event.

Since 1990, when the first woman was gored in the event, three Americans, a Norwegian and now the Australian have met the same fate.

Women were prohibited from running with the bulls at the San Fermin festival until 1974, with the ban dating back to July 1, 1867.

City officials continued to make it difficult for women to run in the years after the ban was officially lifted, but increasing numbers of women have been participating in the event in recent years.

The bulls from the Miura estate in Seville covered the 850-meter (approximately half-mile) distance from the Santo Domingo stockyard to the bullring quickly on Sunday.

Pamplona, a normally quiet town, welcomes hundreds of thousands of Spanish and international visitors annually during the festival.

The San Fermin festival, which started on July 6, is known around the world for its running of the bulls and street revelry.

The festival, begun about 400 years ago, was popularized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises."

The run through the medieval streets of Pamplona's historic center, usually lasting four minutes, is especially dangerous because some runners take part in the event after all-night drinking binges.

This makes runners reckless and more likely to get too close to the bulls, which weigh in excess of 500 kilos (1,100 pounds).

The running of the bulls is monitored by experts who control the route and try to prevent accidents, but, inevitably, runners fall, suffer cuts and bruises, and are even gored by the animals.

Four people were gored at the 2012 San Fermin festival, while 41 were transported to hospitals and 388 others were treated at the scene by paramedics for a variety of injuries.