France's Elodie Guiglion, middle, breaks away from Spain's Berta Garcia, left, during the women's rugby sevens match between France and Spain at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)
Themba Hadebe
August 07, 2016

France won the first game of rugby at the Olympics in 92 years - and the first ever for the women - beating Spain 24-7 to kick off the six-day sevens tournament.

Patricia Garcia got the tournament underway at the Summer Games, kicking off for Spain, and Camille Grassineau crossed for the first try to give France the lead after 2 minutes and 24 seconds.

Rugby sevens, the fast-pace, condensed form of the game, is the chosen format for the sport's return to the Olympic program for the first time since 1924, when the U.S. men won the gold medal in the 15-a-side tournament.

There were about 1,000 people in the crowd for the opening match at the temporary 15,000-seat Deodoro Stadium.

The U.S. women open against Fiji later Saturday, with Jillion Potter selected in the starting seven, capping an inspirational comeback from cancer that sidelined her for the 2014-15 world series competition.

Australia and New Zealand are the favorites for the women's gold medal, which will be decided Monday. Fiji and New Zealand are favorites for gold in the men's competition, which kicks off Tuesday.

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