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Bahrainis frustrated as triathlon brings kingdom to standstill

Bahrainis vent their annoyance online as traffic in the island comes to halt to give way to a triathlon in which the King's son was taking part
A photo of the Challenge Bahrain triathlon prior to the launch of the event (Twitter)

Residents of the tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain were complaining that services in the country came to a standstill for four hours on Saturday because roads were closed for a triathlon in which the King's son was taking part.

Traffic came to a halt in the kingdom from 7am to 11am, as Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa swam, ran and cycled around the island with participants at Challenge Bahrain triathlon.

The disruption is reported to have affected various sectors in Bahrain, including aviation and hospitals - in one instance a burial service was even delayed.

Unlike the customary criticism of the government on social media, in which many commenters use pseudonyms for fear of retaliation, many residents took to Twitter apparently using their genuine accounts to express their frustration and mock the event.

"If you were planning to enjoy a quiet weekend in Bahrain this weekend, you’ll have been disappointed. Most likely, you’ll have also spent your Saturday stuck in traffic. The island kingdom was host to Challenge Bahrain, a professional triathlon with a $500,000 prize purse," wrote blogger Alex of Arabia in a post on Sunday.

"The ensuing disruption to traffic meant that most people decided to stay at home. Instead, they vented their annoyance online, on social media," he added.

A meme shared on social media showing Ali Salman, leader of Al-Wefaq opposition movement, saying the closed roads are not due to mass protests this time

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