Small city builds weightlifting champions in Iraq - in pictures

In cafes along the main road dissecting the small town, 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Iran, chatter rarely veers far from the successes of local lifters. A weightlifting training centre, set up in 1993 in a Badra high school, is still in operation.
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Salwan Jassim Abbood, an Iraqi heavy lifter in the 105 kilogramme category, trains at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Iraqi boys lift weights while training at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Raad Ameen (L), a member of the Iraqi national weightlifting team, exercises during a training session at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Raad Ameen, a member of the Iraqi national weightlifting team, exercises during a training session at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Iraqi athletes training at the local weightlifting club in the the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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An Iraqi boy lifts weights as he trains at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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General view of a market street in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border. Some Iraqi towns are known for producing oil or textiles, but Badra which lies 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border with Iran boasts its own special conveyer belt -- churning out weightlifting champions.
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An Iraqi boy lifts weights as he trains at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Ali Hamza (C), a member of the Iraqi national weightlifting team, exercises during a training session at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.
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Iraqi boys lift weights while training at the local weightlifting club in the town of Badra near the Iraq-Iran border.