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Friday, 22nd August 2008
In Japan Sports News,

Japan take gold in softball final

The Japanese women's Olympic softball team stunned their US counterparts in a hard-fought 3-1 victory at The Fengtai Field in Beijing.

Going into the game, the US were defending a 22-game winning streak. At the Athens games in 2004, the team had defeated Japan 2-1, reports the Boston Globe.

US left fielder Jessica Mendoza commented: "It's interesting because everyone says all the time that we win and no one can compete It was proven today that [other] teams can [win]."

Despite starting the game with an average of seven runs a game, the American team could only manage five.

Softball will not feature in the 2012 games which will take place in London, having been removed by the International Olympic Committee.

Despite growing calls for the sport to be reinstated in 2016, the Japanese coach Haruka Saito conceded: "It is probably our last Olympic Games."