The United States defeated hosts Japan 90-75 in the final of the women’s basketball at the Tokyo Games on Sunday to win a seventh straight Olympic gold.
US great Sue Bird opened the scoring less than a minute in, giving the Americans a lead which they never relinquished.
Despite intense defensive pressure and some good three-point shooting from the Japanese, with Nako Motohashi lighting it up from the distance with 4/5, the Americans’ size and skill proved too much for the hosts.
Brittney Griner led the US in scoring with 30 points – on 78 per cent shooting from the floor – to which she added five rebounds and three blocks in an impressive statline.
US players A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart added respectively 19 and 14 points and a combined eight blocks.
Maki Takada and Motohashi were the only two Japanese players in double figures with 16 and 17 respectively.
The US have now won nine of ten Olympic golds available since 1984 and are unbeaten at the Games since the last of their three losses came in 1992. This was their 55th consecutive win at the Olympics.
With the win, Bird, 40, and Diana Taurasi, 39, have now secured their fifth gold medals — the most ever in Olympic basketball.
Two fellow Americans, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony, share the record for most gold medals won by a male player with three.
Durant secured his third gold on Saturday, when the US defeated France 87-82 in the men’s final. A few of the new Olympic champions were at Saitama Super Arena to cheer the women’s side on, as was women’s football team star Megan Rapinoe, who is engaged to Bird.
In the women’s bronze medal game, France beat Serbia 91-76 on Saturday.