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.
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.
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Video - Japan deny US in softball final
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.