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Pictures | Fri Mar 2, 2012 | 8:05am EST

Underdog Olympic teams

<p>Rohullah Nikpai (L) trains inside a taekwondo club in Kabul February 15, 2012. In a country wrenched by decades of war, perhaps it is no surprise that three Afghan athletes going to the London summer Olympic, a taekwondo male duo including Beijing bronze medallist Nikpai, and teenage female boxer Sadaf Rahimi, followed fighting sports.  REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

Rohullah Nikpai (L) trains inside a taekwondo club in Kabul February 15, 2012. In a country wrenched by decades of war, perhaps it is no surprise that three Afghan athletes going to the London summer Olympic, a taekwondo male duo including Beijing...more

Rohullah Nikpai (L) trains inside a taekwondo club in Kabul February 15, 2012. In a country wrenched by decades of war, perhaps it is no surprise that three Afghan athletes going to the London summer Olympic, a taekwondo male duo including Beijing bronze medallist Nikpai, and teenage female boxer Sadaf Rahimi, followed fighting sports. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>Sadaf Rahimi (L) jogs during a training session inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012.  REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

Sadaf Rahimi (L) jogs during a training session inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Sadaf Rahimi (L) jogs during a training session inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>Rohullah Nikpai (L) attends a training session in a swimming pool in Kabul February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

Rohullah Nikpai (L) attends a training session in a swimming pool in Kabul February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Rohullah Nikpai (L) attends a training session in a swimming pool in Kabul February 16, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>Sadaf Rahimi (R) trains inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani </p>

Sadaf Rahimi (R) trains inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Sadaf Rahimi (R) trains inside a boxing club in Kabul February 13, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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<p>Palestinian runner Worood Maslaha puts on her shoes before training in the West Bank village of Asira Ash-Shamaliya near Nablus, as she prepares to race at the London Olympics February 10, 2012. Four Palestinians will participate in the London Olympics and joining Maslaha will be Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra, Cairo-based swimmer Ahmed Jabreel and swimmer Sabeen Kharyoon from Bethlehem.  REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini</p>

Palestinian runner Worood Maslaha puts on her shoes before training in the West Bank village of Asira Ash-Shamaliya near Nablus, as she prepares to race at the London Olympics February 10, 2012. Four Palestinians will participate in the London...more

Palestinian runner Worood Maslaha puts on her shoes before training in the West Bank village of Asira Ash-Shamaliya near Nablus, as she prepares to race at the London Olympics February 10, 2012. Four Palestinians will participate in the London Olympics and joining Maslaha will be Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra, Cairo-based swimmer Ahmed Jabreel and swimmer Sabeen Kharyoon from Bethlehem. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

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<p>Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra (front) trains at the Yarmouk soccer stadium in Gaza City January 30, 2012. Al-Farra treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem </p>

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra (front) trains at the Yarmouk soccer stadium in Gaza City January 30, 2012. Al-Farra treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army,...more

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra (front) trains at the Yarmouk soccer stadium in Gaza City January 30, 2012. Al-Farra treads carefully, braving the elements and potholed roads ravaged by years of conflict between Palestinian militants and the Israeli army, as he prepares to race at the London Olympics. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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<p>Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra trains on a beach in Gaza City January 30, 2012.  REUTERS/Mohammed Salem </p>

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra trains on a beach in Gaza City January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

Gaza runner Bahaa al-Farra trains on a beach in Gaza City January 30, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem

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<p>A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah </p>

A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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<p>A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah </p>

A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

A member of the national weightlifting team lifts weights as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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<p>A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah </p>

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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<p>A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah </p>

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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<p>A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah </p>

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

A member of the national weightlifting team trains as he prepares to compete with other athletes for the selection of the Olympics team in Khartoum February 28, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

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<p>Children watch Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig limber up at a wrestling gymnasium in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011. While the elite of the sporting world tune up for the London Olympics in world class facilities, other gold medal hopefuls are forced to make do with less salubrious surroundings.  In Mongolia, Asian champion Ganzorig trains alongside children playing basketball in an old, tired gym with paint peeling from the walls. Children play on ancient free weight machines, climb ropes and roll around on the floor mimicking their wrestling hero as he warms up for his training session in the corner.  REUTERS/Kieran Doherty   </p>

Children watch Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig limber up at a wrestling gymnasium in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011. While the elite of the sporting world tune up for the London Olympics in world class facilities, other...more

Children watch Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig limber up at a wrestling gymnasium in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011. While the elite of the sporting world tune up for the London Olympics in world class facilities, other gold medal hopefuls are forced to make do with less salubrious surroundings. In Mongolia, Asian champion Ganzorig trains alongside children playing basketball in an old, tired gym with paint peeling from the walls. Children play on ancient free weight machines, climb ropes and roll around on the floor mimicking their wrestling hero as he warms up for his training session in the corner. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>A child climbs a rope in the same gym as Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011.     REUTERS/Kieran Doherty   </p>

A child climbs a rope in the same gym as Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

A child climbs a rope in the same gym as Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>Mongolian Olympic boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar prepares to train in a gym in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011.          REUTERS/Kieran Doherty  </p>

Mongolian Olympic boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar prepares to train in a gym in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Mongolian Olympic boxer Tugstsogt Nyambayar prepares to train in a gym in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>Children play basketball at a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011.  REUTERS/Kieran Doherty   </p>

Children play basketball at a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Children play basketball at a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>Children learn how to box in a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011.    REUTERS/Kieran Doherty   </p>

Children learn how to box in a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Children learn how to box in a gym which they share with Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in Ulan Batur, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig  limbers with a partner at a wrestling gym in Ulan Bator, October 27, 2011.          REUTERS/Kieran Doherty   </p>

Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig limbers with a partner at a wrestling gym in Ulan Bator, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

Mongolia's Olympic freestyle 60kg wrestler Mandakhnaran Ganzorig limbers with a partner at a wrestling gym in Ulan Bator, October 27, 2011. REUTERS/Kieran Doherty

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<p>Iraqi sprinter Dana Abdul-Razzaq (R) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012. At the worst of the violence in 2006-2007, athletes dodged sniper bullets at the Jadriya oval track in the heart of Baghdad. Now, groups of athletes race each other as children watch, and older men lazily walk around the track that encircles an uneven grass field.    REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani </p>

Iraqi sprinter Dana Abdul-Razzaq (R) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012. At the worst of the violence in 2006-2007, athletes dodged sniper bullets at the Jadriya oval track in the heart of Baghdad. Now, groups...more

Iraqi sprinter Dana Abdul-Razzaq (R) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012. At the worst of the violence in 2006-2007, athletes dodged sniper bullets at the Jadriya oval track in the heart of Baghdad. Now, groups of athletes race each other as children watch, and older men lazily walk around the track that encircles an uneven grass field. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

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<p>Iraqi athlete Adnan Taess (front L) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012.  REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani </p>

Iraqi athlete Adnan Taess (front L) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

Iraqi athlete Adnan Taess (front L) exercises during a training session in Baghdad University February 27, 2012. REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani

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<p>Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. Vietnam plans to send its boxers to North Korea for training in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games in July, according to local media. REUTERS/Kham </p>

Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. Vietnam plans to send its boxers to North Korea for training in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games in July, according to local media....more

Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. Vietnam plans to send its boxers to North Korea for training in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic Games in July, according to local media. REUTERS/Kham

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<p>Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Kham</p>

Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Kham

Members of the Vietnam female boxing team practise at a training center in Hanoi February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Kham

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