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9 ITALY
BRIAN CAZENEUVE
July 23, 2012
Story lines: Male fencers could sweep all three disciplines, but the team's star is women's foil specialist Valentina Vezzali (right), 38, who's trying to become the fourth athlete—after the U.S.'s Al Oerter (discus) and Carl Lewis (long jump) and Denmark's Paul Elvstrøm (sailing)—to win the same individual event at four straight Games.
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July 23, 2012

9 Italy

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Story lines: Male fencers could sweep all three disciplines, but the team's star is women's foil specialist Valentina Vezzali (right), 38, who's trying to become the fourth athlete—after the U.S.'s Al Oerter (discus) and Carl Lewis (long jump) and Denmark's Paul Elvstrøm (sailing)—to win the same individual event at four straight Games.

Don't miss: Swimming diva Federica Pellegrini, the defending 200-freestyle champion and one of the sport's most colorful figures.

Long shot: Improving diver Tania Cagnotto jumps in against the mighty Chinese.

Outlook: Italy's Olympic spirits need a boost after Rome scrapped its bid to host the 2020 Games.

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