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13 runners injured in final Pamplona bull run

Spanish bullfighting Gines Martin performs with a Nunez del Cuvillo's fighting bulls during a bullfight at the San Fermin Festival, in Pamplona, northern Spain. Picture by Alvaro Barrientos, Associated Press
Alvaro Barrientos, Press Association

The final bull run of the 2017 San Fermin festival has left 13 people injured, but there were no gorings despite it being the highest number of injuries and the fastest dash of all eight held this year.

Medical officials in Pamplona said a 30-year-old visitor from the US was the most seriously injured.

He was struck – but not gored – by the horn of a bull as the pack swept through a group of runners in the final section of the run, close to the bullring entrance.

Another American national, two French, one Italian and seven Spaniards were also being treated at Navarra Hospital for head, back and other injuries, the regional government said.

Most people are hurt in falls or by being trampled by bulls, but 15 have been fatally gored at the festival since record-keeping began in 1924.

This year four Americans and three Spaniards have been gored during the festival. All have been discharged from hospital apart from a 22-year-old Californian man who is recovering from an arm injury, the Navarra government said.

On Friday, the bulls from Seville's renowned Miura cattle ranch and steers leading them completed the 930-yard course in two minutes, 10 seconds, the fastest this year.

Early morning runs involving bulls and cows through fenced cobbled streets or in open fields are traditional fixtures in summer festivals across the country. The bulls usually face matadors and almost certain death in afternoon bullfights.

Pamplona, a city of around 200,000 inhabitants, increases its population five-fold for the nine-day festival brought to world fame by Nobel literature laureate Ernest Hemingway.

Following the tales in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises, many foreigners arrive in the northern Spanish city to experience or witness the running of the bulls and participate in hundreds of activities. Dancing, food and alcohol are main attractions.

Owing to complaints in previous years, the city has renewed a campaign against sexual attacks, co-ordinating efforts by security agents and social services as well as attempting to educate the public.

Preliminary figures show a sharp decrease in the number of incidents.

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