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Page last updated at 13:53 GMT, Thursday, 21 August 2008 14:53 UK

Japan stun US in softball final

Japan pitcher Ueno was the star performer in the softball final
Japan pitcher Ueno was the star performer in the softball final

Japan denied the US Olympic softball team a fourth straight gold medal with a 3-1 win in Beijing's grand final.

The Americans' 22-game Olympic winning streak came to an end as Japan pitcher Yukiko Ueno handed them their first loss since September 2000 at Sydney.

Ueno pitched seven innings, one day after she had pitched 21 in two games to get Japan into the gold-medal match.

The final was softball's last in the Olympics for at least eight years after it was voted off the 2012 programme.

The US, always behind, went 2-0 down when Eri Yamada's home run gave Japan a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

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Video - Japan deny US in softball final

Crystl Bustos immediately replied with a homer of her own, but Japan's defence held firm from that point on, and they added another run at the top of the seventh for good measure.

Australia, beaten by Japan on Wednesday, were the bronze medal winners after finishing with five wins and two losses in the tournament.

The sport is hoping to be reinstated in 2009, which would give it a chance of returning in time for 2016.

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Find out about the Beijing softball venue

Softball medals table

Sunday, 24 August 2008 10:17 UK
Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze TOTAL
1 also show each event results forJapan 1 0 0 1
Women's Team 1 0 0
2 also show each event results forUSA 0 1 0 1
Women's Team 0 1 0
3 also show each event results forAustralia 0 0 1 1
Women's Team 0 0 1

see also
Japan win sets up final with US
20 Aug 08 |  Softball
Bustos puts US into Beijing final
20 Aug 08 |  Softball
Superb US continues to dominate
16 Aug 08 |  Softball
US softball record Beijing double
15 Aug 08 |  Softball
US extend unbeaten softball run
13 Aug 08 |  Softball
Olympics blog
07 Aug 08 |  Olympics
Guide to softball
27 Jun 08 |  Softball

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