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Iraq’s top athletes

Kurdish women pedal, dunk, spike as Iraq’s top athletes

When Iraq's female cycling team snatched bronze and silver medals at a landmark pan-Arab race, it was thanks to athletes from the autonomous Kurdish region. The country's toughest female competitors, its best-equipped facilities and most experienced coaches are not in the capital Baghdad, but in the Kurdish-majority northern region. And the three medals won by the Iraqi female cyclists in September at the tournament in Algeria were seen as proof of this sporting prowess in a region that has governed itself since 1991.…