The Avaniapuram jallikattu, the first bulltaming event of the Pongal season in Madurai, saw a huge turnout on January 14. At least 80 participants were injured at the event held in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. Health officials said the injuries were not serious.
As many as 523 bulls and 398 bulltamers participated in eight rounds of events at the jallikattu. Only COVID-19 negative participants were allowed to compete. The jallikattu event was flagged off at 8 a.m. and concluded by 4 p.m. Up to 50 tamers were allowed to participate in each of the eight rounds.
As many as 24 bulls were rejected during the screening. The participants were subjected to RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 and also a fitness test. The bulls also underwent medical examination to ascertain if they were fit enough to participate in the event.
Thirunavukarasu of Muthupatti and Vijayan of Avaniapuram were adjudged the best bulltamers after they had tamed 26 bulls. A bull belonging to G.R. Karthick of Villapuram was adjudged the best bull at the event. Though authorities had urged the participants and the public to follow the guidelines for COVID-19, by wearing face masks and maintaining physical distance, not all followed the guidelines.
The Avaniapuram jallikattu also witnessed many political dignitaries attend the day long event. The next jallikattu events in the district will be held at Palamedu and Alanganallur.