2018: Nasser bin Hamad Ironman World Championship "Win" April Fool's Prank of October
2019-02-01 - 11:43 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On October 14, 2018, the Bahraini King's son Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa published a story via his account on Instagram and another through his media office announcing his victory in the Ironman World Championship held in Hawaii.
Instantly, ministers, officials, ministries, state bodies, the Shura and the House of Representatives all raced to congratulate the king on the victory of his son in this tournament. The official state news agency broadcast the news of the victory, and the Bahrain sports channel announced airing an episode discussing Nasser's win in the world championship.
Later, Nasser bin Hamad posted a video clip of him standing alone near the shore of a lake or the bank of a river, talking about his victory and waving a gold medal.
The king himself sent a cable of congratulations to his son for this great victory, as did the king's first wife, Sabika bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, and the army commander. In order to fully play out the acting scene, a newspaper published a video showing the alleged hero crossing the finish line with Bahraini national flags awaiting him. A commentator allegedly said on the microphone: You are an ironman, while Nasser yelled: I finished, I finished.
For the people in Bahrain, it meant nothing. Nasser bin Hamad has always declared himself the "first" in every championship. However, to have someone falsely declare him as the winner of such a world championship would make a scandal.
Bahrain Mirror revealed that the official website of the tournament and its social media pages posted pictures and videos showing Germany's Patrick Lang winning the Ironman World Championship, who became the first athlete to break the 8-hour mark in the grueling event.
Checking the winners' names, the king's son's name was not found to be a winner anywhere, not even in any of the official pages of the championship, except for Bahraini newspapers and Gulf papers later on.
The shocking fact is that he finished at 251 in the race (male and female), in 57th place in his age group (30-34 years) and 229 in the male category.
Nasser bin Hamad, according to an Emirati tweeter who is a cycling race expert, won a challenge called the "Executive Challenge" - a challenge for amateurs in which wealthy, VIP contenders compete, all of whom were at an advanced age except for him.
Nasser came to the tournament with a delegation of 62 people, who accompanied him to the US city of Kona on a Boeing 747, and his trip cost a lot of money, observers said. According to foreign forums, the parade of his companions was brash and ridiculous. They came specifically to perform the silly victory act, raising their flags, giving a warm applause and cheering for him, especially when he reached the finish line, no matter what time he arrived.
In Al Qabas newspaper, a Kuwaiti writer ridiculed "the Bahraini Shaikh and the Ironman". He wondered "if such a lie came with the many eyes fixated on an event that happened yesterday, then what would the truth be when reviewing events that occurred hundreds or thousands of years ago? - a time when there were no narrators, no cameras, no judges, or anyone like that."
"Today, there are those who would like us to believe that whoever is ranked 250 is the hero, and will be so in the history of his homeland as well," he added.
Under the pressure of the media and the waves of sarcastic jokes that filled sports-related foreign forums, Nasser bin Hamad appeared angry at a press conference to speak of his victory and say he was ready to prove it. Although he admitted at the conference that his participation was not even in his category, but in the amateur race or the executives challenge, he resorted to the language of threats that he has mastered since 2011 against political protesters. He; however, this time threatened all those who "doubt his achievement" saying he will show them his "red eye" [meaning his wrath] and "wage a major war" on them!
Nasser's victory in the Ironman World Championship was the "April" Fool's prank of October 2018. Perhaps his huge lie of his will become one of the biggest examples of "fake news" in the modern era.
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