Olympic Notebook

U.S. women unleash force after slow start

Wambach, Morgan make up for slack defense

The Associated PressJuly 26, 2012 

London Olympics Soccer Women

United States' Tobin Heath, right, vies for the ball with France's Corine Franco during the women's group G soccer match between the United States and France at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, Wednesday, July 25, 2012, at Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow. (AP Photo/Chris Clark)

CHRIS CLARK — THe ASSOCIATED PRESS

— An early start to the Olympics turned into an early hole for the U.S. women’s soccer team, which gave up two quick goals before unleashing an attack the rest of the world will find hard to stop.

Abby Wambach used her size and strength to put in a header, Alex Morgan applied her speed to chip one over the goalkeeper and Carli Lloyd broke the tie with a 25-yard rocket. All of which sent the two-time defending goal medalists to a 4-2 victory over France on Wednesday as they opened their London Games far from London.

Morgan added an insurance goal — created by a nice run from Tobin Heath — for the Americans, which began play two days before the opening ceremony and 400-plus miles from the British capital. Soccer starts its Olympics early so it has time to play a full tournament.

Gaetane Thiney (12th minute) and Marie-Laure Delie (14th) found holes in a supposedly impenetrable U.S. defense.

But Wambach scored in the 19th, Morgan in the 32nd, Lloyd in the 56th and Morgan again in the 66th. Wambach has 139 international goals in her pursuit of Mia Hamm’s record (158).

Organizers display South Korea’s flag instead of North’s

At Glasgow, Scotland, London Olympic organizers mistakenly displayed the South Korean flag on a jumbo screen instead of North Korea’s before a women’s soccer match, prompting the North Koreans to refuse to take the field for nearly an hour. The flag flap began during player introductions when a North Korean player was introduced along with a shot of the South Korean flag.

Cristiane becomes top women’s Olympic scorer

At Cardiff, Wales, Brazil forward Cristiane became the top women’s scorer at the Olympics after netting her 11th tournament goal in Brazil’s 5-0 rout of Cameroon.

Federer, Azarenka are top tennis seeds

Roger Federer and Victoria Azarenka are seeded No. 1 for the singles tournaments at Wimbledon. The International Tennis Federation says it awarded the seedings based on the ATP and WTA rankings of July 23. Beijing Olympics bronze medalist Novak Djokovic is seeded No. 2.

Local hope Andy Murray, who lost the Wimbledon final to Federer this month, is seeded No. 3.

Wimbledon winner Serena Williams is seeded fourth in the women’s draw, behind Australian Open champion Azarenka, Wimbledon runner-up Agnieska Radwanska and French Open champion Maria Sharapova.

Fencing champ Zagunis to be US Olympic flag bearer

Two-time Olympic fencing champion Mariel Zagunis will carry the U.S. flag in the opening ceremony. The U.S. Olympic Committee says Zagunis won a vote of the 529-strong team ahead of Friday’s ceremony.

NBC tops $1 billion in ad sales

NBC said that it has topped the $1 billion mark in advertising sales for the Olympic Games. That tops the $850 million in sales for the Beijing games in 2008 and is the biggest advertising haul for an Olympics, NBC said. NBC Universal is showing some 5,535 hours of the Games on NBC, Telemundo, cable affiliates like MSNBC, CNBC and the NBC Sports Group, and online.

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