New Zealand 12
Five years after sevens made its Olympics debut, the world was treated to a dream final in the event.
But unfortunately for New Zealand, it wasn't quite a dream result.
The All Blacks Sevens had to content themselves with the silver medal after being overpowered by great rivals Fiji 27-12 at Tokyo Stadium tonight.
It was New Zealand's second sevens silver after the women's side were runners-up in Rio five years ago, a medal collection that could increase with the Black Ferns Sevens kicking off their campaign tomorrow.
But despite that silver hue now complementing the black jersey, the men's side were unable to attain the redemption they sought after the horror show of Rio 2016.
They Kiwi men nervous debutants at those Games, losing to Japan and Great Britain in pool play before being dumped out of the quarter-finals by Fiji.
New Zealand's woes denied the sport what would have been a fitting finale to its first inclusion at the Olympics. But the wait for a showpiece between the traditional rivals was fortunately brief.
And if tonight delivered a perfect advertisement for the game on the global stage, defending champion Fiji were more than worthy gold medallists.
"Fiji were the better team," an emotional Scott Curry told Sky TV. "We gave it everything and that's all we could do, all we could ask from this group. Every day, every game that's what we do, and we came up short."
Fiji's players were the ones in tears as their anthem rung out pre-game but, moments later, the prevailing emotion was joy as their early tactic of kicking undid the challengers.
Errors from Joe Webber and Andrew Knewstubb were ruthlessly exploited for the first two Fijian tries through Meli Derenalagi and Sireli Maqala, and a frantic first half continued when Jiuta Wainiqolo powered through a couple of would-be tacklers.
"The bounce of the ball in sevens is huge and a couple went their way early on," said Curry. "I guess they got a lot of confidence from that and got their tails up a little bit. It was always going to be tough to fight back from that."
Curry did his best to lead that fightback, showing his power and pace to score his side's first try, while Sione Molia crossed after the hooter to cut the deficit to 19-12.
The pressure of the occasion - absent during the first half - was a factor after the break as defence came to the fore, before the outcome was sealed by two moments that exemplified what separated the sides on the night.
First Regan Ware's promising break came to nothing after the ball sprung loose from his grasp, then Asaeli Tuivuaka crossed for the decisive try as Fiji unlocked a resolute Kiwi rearguard with a timely display of their ball skills.
There would be no miraculous comeback for New Zealand as the Pacific Islanders were able to celebrate their second straight sevens gold, remaining undefeated in Olympic men's play.
But despite being unable to find an answer to Fiji's quality in all facets, Clark Laidlaw's team will one day soon be able to reflect on an excellent tournament.
New Zealand built well through the last few days, with their semifinal success over Great Britain their best performance, guaranteeing this country another medal for its tally.
But once Fiji took care of business against Argentina in the second semifinal, New Zealand must have suspected that gold could prove elusive.
In the third-place playoff, Argentina claimed their first sevens medal, backing up their heroic quarter-final victory over South Africa with a 17-12 win over Great Britain.