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France downs Norway, GB loses women's handball debut

London, England (Sports Network) - Norway's defense of its 2008 gold medal got off to a losing start on Saturday thanks to a 24-23 defeat to France at the Copper Box.

In a rematch of the 2011 World Championship final, won by Norway, France got some revenge thanks to five goals from both Paule Baudouin and Mariama Signate.

Ida Alstad paced Norway with five goals.

In a matchup between nations making their Olympic debut in this sport, Great Britain got six goals from Marie Gerbron but was still handed a 31-19 defeat by Montenegro. The Balkan team was led by five goals from Katarina Bulatovic.

In other action, 2008 silver medalist Russia took a 30-27 victory over Angola, which nearly pulled off an upset before faltering late.

Korea, which picked up its women's teams-leading sixth medal four years ago in Beijing with a bronze, downed Spain 31-27 behind nine goals by Ryu Eun Hee. The squad did suffer some bad news when Kim On A collided with a Spanish defender and had to be carried off the court on a stretcher due to a left knee injury.

Croatia nearly picked up a victory in its Olympic Games debut, but dropped a heartbreaker to Brazil 24-23, while three-time Olympic champion Denmark bested Sweden 21-18.

07/28 18:33:47 ET