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US women win seventh consecutive Olympic basketball gold

The US have won nine gold medals in the past 10 Olympic Games dating back to 1984

IANS | Tokyo |

Brittney Griner scored 30 points to lead the United States to its seventh consecutive Olympic Games gold medal after beating Japan in the women’s basketball competition here on Sunday.

The US have won nine gold medals in the past 10 Olympic Games dating back to 1984.

The silver medal is also the best result for hosts Japan, whose previous best, fifth placing, came at the 1976 Montreal in Canada. It also ties the best Olympic result in Asian women’s basketball as the second place, as China won the silver medal in 1992, reports Xinhua.

The US dominated the paint with seven blocks in the first quarter to open a 18-5 lead before Japan found the rhythm for the outside shooters.

Japan, who shot 41 per cent on 3-pointer before the match, did not let the US pull away with constant long shots, until a lay-up of Brittney Griner, who scored 18 points in the first half, built up a 46-32 lead.

Leading by 50-39 to enter the second half, the US used a 15-4 run to extend the lead to 73-49.

Losing 86-69 to the US in the group phase, Japan could not find a better way to close the gap of height, three inches lower than the US average, to finish as the silver medallists.

Maki Takada buried 6-out-of-9 three-pointers, as the Japanese team shot 20-out-of-46, to lead her team with 17 points.