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French, Italian Teams Depart for Beijing
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Departing Saturday, the French and Italian teams will be among the first to arrive in China for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing.

Italy, which finalized its team lineup this week, will send full men's and women's teams to the Olympics for the first time since 1976.

Representing Italy in Beijing for the women will be 2000 and 2004 Olympian Monica Bergamelli, 2006 world champion Vanessa Ferrari, national champion Lia Parolari, former European vaulting champions Carlotta Giovannini and Francesca Benolli, and Sara Bradaschia. Federica Macrì and Lorena Coza are alternates.

The men's team consists of Matteo Angioletti, Alberto Busnari, 2004 Olympic high bar champion Igor Cassina, world still rings medalists Andrea Coppolino and Matteo Morandi, and Enrico Pozzo. Paolo Ottavi is the alternate.

Busnari and Cassina are making their third Olympic appearance after competing as individuals in Sydney 2000 and on the Italian team in Athens 2004. Angioletti, Morandi and Pozzo also competed in Athens, where the team placed 12th.

Gaël Da Silva will miss the Olympics after suffering a knee injury Friday.

Originally second alternate to the French team, Hamilton Sabot will head to Beijing after the team suffered its second serious injury in three weeks. Sabot replaces Gaël da Silva, who suffered a torn ligament in his right knee Friday in training and will be out of competition for at least six months.

National pommel horse champion Pierre-Yves Bény suffered a broken finger at the Scherbo International in Minsk in early July, and was replaced by Thomas Bouhail.

The injury is Da Silva's second Olympic disappointment. A motorcycle accident in 2004 derailed his Olympic chances for Athens.

"It's even harder than Athens," Da Silva, 23, told L'Equipe on Wednesday. "Making the Games at least once, it would be something, it will motivate me [to continue to 2012]."

The French women lost 1996 and 2004 Olympian Isabelle Severino to a torn Achilles' tendon in April, and 2007 world medalist Cassy Véricel is limping after a recent sprained ankle.

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