Image via WikipediaVeteran stickfighter Ainsley Mohammed lost an eye during the National Carnival Commission (NCC) stickfighting preliminaries held at the Tabaquite basketball court last week Saturday. Mohammed, from the Gran Couva gayelle, had to be rushed to hospital after he was on the receiving end of a bois while in the gayelle. Jennifer Cassar, who is in charge of the NCC’s stickfighting competition, said the NCC board would decide whether Mohammed would be offered compensation for his injury which took place during a commission event.
Mohammed was third in the NCC’s King of the Rock competition in 2008. “I am trying to reach his family to find out how Ainsely Mohammed has come out of his injury,” Cassar told the Sunday Guardian mid-week. The stickfighting moved to the semifinal stage yesterday in Siparia with the finals carded for Wednesday at 7 pm at Guaracara Park, Pointe-a-Pierre where the 2010 King of the Rock competition will be staged. But at the prelims it was clear that the reigning champion, Andrew Marcano, is likely to have his work cut out to retain his crown.
Because before a huge crowd of chanting stickfighting enthusiasts, baying for blood, Marcano from the Princes Town gayelle was held to a draw by a gallant Chinee Ali from the La Ruffin gayelle. “Ali fought a good fight,” Cassar confirmed, adding that the bout lasted the, full five minutes allotted under NCC rules. Yesterday six gayelles took part in the semifinals: Talparo, Gran Chemin, La Ruffin, Gran Couva, Princes Town and Longdenville with three fighters in each team.
Champion gayelle earns $16,000, while King of the Rock takes home $13,000 for exhibiting enough skill with the bois to turn back all opponents in a game where a slip of the hand could turn deadly, as Mohammed found out.
Here is some stick fighting footage from Arima last year.