Japan triumphed in the Asia Pacific Softball Cup final in Sydney ©Softball Australia

Japan denied hosts Australia victory in the Asia Pacific Softball Cup final at the Blacktown International Sportspark in Sydney.

The world number two ranked team were the clear favourites heading into the competition, which began with the six competing teams playing round robin fixtures.

Australia and Japan were joined by Chinese Taipei, Italy, New Zealand, China and an Australian All-Star team in the event.

At the conclusion of the round robin stage, the All-Star team and Italy missed out on places in the semi-finals of the competition.

Japan were able to live up to their favourites tag when they faced Chinese Taipei, with their team easing to a 4-0 victory.

There was also success for the host nation at the venue, which was hosting its biggest international women’s softball event since the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

The Australian team were untroubled by China in their last four match, as they eased to a 4-0 victory over their rivals.

Australia were unable to replicate their performance in the final, with the world number four ranked team suffering a comfortable defeat to Japan.

The Japanese team emerged as 3-0 winners of the encounter to seal the title.

Organisers had claimed the event carried extra significance as teams build towards the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship.

The Championships will take place in Chiba from August 2 to 12 this year, with the winners in Japan securing a place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.