France outscored Japan 19-9 in the pivotal fourth quarter, including a 17-2 run that defined the overall play in the final period.
The Akatsuki Five earned their latest continental championship under new coach Toru Onzuka, completing the event with a determined effort against China in the final.
The all-time winningest rikishi's longevity at the top and work ethic triggered admiration from his peers and former standouts.
Dynamic point guard Rui Machida continued her brilliant play with an Olympic women’s single-game record of 18 assists.
Saki Hayashi sank a 3-pointer with 15.2 seconds remaining to keep the host nation’s medal hopes alive.