Great Britain faced Fiji in the bronze medal match and despite two tries from Meg Jones they ultimately lost 21-12 to finish the tournament in fourth place.
Meanwhile, France faced the dreaded Black Ferns for the gold medal and the pre-tournament favorites lived up to their bill with a 26-12 victory.
Speaking after emulating Britain’s fourth place finish at Rio 2016, Wales winger Jasmine Joyce was disappointed to miss out on a medal but admitted she couldn’t be prouder than the team accomplished.
“You can probably tell all of our faces that we’re absolutely gutted,” Joyce said.
“As a team we are Team GB, we are three different nations and we’ve only been together for four or five months. Six months ago, neither of us had anything – we had no job, nothing.
“So to come here and finish fourth and push New Zealand all the way, beat USA in the quarterfinals and unfortunately lose to Fiji – who are a very good team – I can’t be. more proud.
“We have definitely improved our program. We can call ourselves Olympians.
France had been undefeated in their march towards the semi-final clash with Great Britain, beating Fiji, Brazil, Canada and China to place first for a medal.
Great Britain beat the Russian Olympic Committee and pushed New Zealand all the way in a thrilling 26-21 loss before victories over Kenya and the United States put them in the bottom four.
During the semi-final confrontation, France quickly took a 14-point lead thanks to the transformed tries of Anne-Cécile Ciofani and Séraphine Okemba.
But Great Britain reacted quickly as Joyce won her sixth try of the tournament and Holly Aitchison added the extras to reduce the deficit to seven with just six minutes played.
Coralie Bertrand won a third French touchdown before the break, but Joyce then sprinted clear for her second try of the match, making it 21-12 at halftime.
Ciofani scored a second after the restart and while Scotland’s Hannah Smith crossed for a try converted by England’s Natasha Hunt, France were able to hang on to the win.
Great Britain fell 14-0 down again in the bronze medal match against Fiji and although Jones had crossed paths twice it was not enough to secure his side a podium spot .
France then lost 26-12 to the Black Ferns, who avenged their loss to Australia in the Olympic final five years ago to become champions at Tokyo 2020.