Five years after leaving Rio empty-handed, the All Blacks Sevens have bowed to defending champions Fiji 27-12 to capture the silver medal in their Tokyo Olympics final.
The NZ men reached the gold-medal game with a clinical 29-7 victory over Great Britain, running in four unaswered tries, while denying their opponents the possession they needed to stage a comeback.
Fiji were in trouble, trailling Argentina 14-12 at halftime of their semi, but also kept the South Americans scoreless over the second half, running away 26-14 winners to book a showdown with their sevens archrivals.
But the Pacific Islanders were immediately on top of the final, ripping the ball from NZ captain Scott Curry for Meli Derenalagi to rumble over in the corner.
The Fijians quickly added another, when the kicked ahead and Andrew Knewstubb failed to secure the loose ball behind the tryline, with Sireli Maqala forcing for the try.
New Zealand needed to score next and they did, when they held the ball for a period of time and built phases, before Curry outpaced his marker to score in the corner.
Jiuta Wainiqolo ran from his own half, brushing off tackler down the right touchline to restore the Fijian advantage, but Sione Molia struck after the halftime siren to keep the All Blacks Sevens within striking distance at the break.
Desperately need the next score to level up, the Kiwis threw everything at their rivals, but could not find that answer.
Eventually, Asaeli Tuivuaka finished off Fijian raid to put the seal on the game and then slotted a penalty to kill the final seconds, before they celebrated a successful Olympic defence.
"We came out to win a gold medal for New Zealand and we fell at the last hurdle," says Curry. "We're really disappointed, but as time goes on, we'll reflect and by proud of our effort.
"The bounce of the ball in sevens is huge. A couple went their way early and they scored tries - they got their tails up and it's tough to come back from that."
The NZ women will begin their sevens campaign tomorrow, when the Black Ferns take on Kenya and Great Britain in pool play.