Japan claimed their fifth consecutive Asian Games women’s softball title here today after registering a 7-0 mercy-rule win over Chinese Taipei.
The final was only the fifth in the eight Asian Games softball tournaments and each of them has seen the runners-up fail to score a run.
Yu Yamamoto scored the first of Japan’s three runs today in the first inning after Chinese Taipei’s Tu Ya-ting walked Yuka Ichiguchi and Saki Yamazaki.
Natsuko Sugama's double then made it 3-0 following a wild pitch.
Yamamoto ended the game as a contest in the second inning by hitting a home run for the second consecutive game.
Victory was sealed by virtue of the mercy rule when Yamato Fujita pitched a one-two-three fifth inning.
"The players were under pressure not to lose at the Asian Games so I am relieved that we won," Japan's coach Reika Utsugi was reported as saying by Kyodo News.
"We have received a lot of expectations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics."
Chinese Taipei had to settle for the silver medal.
Earlier in the day, they beat China 5-4 to earn a place in the grand final - a result which saw the Chinese team finish in bronze medal position.
China, Japan and Chinese Taipei remain the only countries to earn a podium place in the history of softball at the Asian Games.
Japan, who sit second in the world rankings behind the United States, won all six matches in the preliminary round.
They scored 60 runs in the process and gave away just three.
In yesterday's semi-finals, Japan defeated China 5-0 and Chinese Taipei overcame The Philippines 6-3.
Softball will return to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020 having not featured on the programme since Beijing 2008.
"It is just one point along our road," Japan's Yukiko Ueno, a member of Japan's Olympic gold medal-winning team at Beijing 2008, was reported as saying by Kyodo News regarding today's win.