AIS duo Madi De Rozario and Eliza Ault-Connell are set for a Tokyo marathon showdown, with the latter primed to make her Paralympics return after a 17-year hiatus.
The pair exhilarated a parochial Australian crowd on the Gold Coast at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when De Rozario held off Ault-Connell by 13 seconds in a gold-silver double.
Now the 39-year-old Ault-Connell is looking to turn the tables after touching down in Tokyo over the weekend, as she returns to the biggest stage for the first time since Athens 2004.
Since then she's had two daughters and a son with former partner and fellow Paralympian Kieran Ault-Connell, and become one of Australia's leading advocates in raising awareness around meningococcal.
"Back in 2016 we were watching the Paralympics in Rio. My daughter [Eva] turned to me and said, 'Mum you used to be really cool when you did wheelchair racing, why don't you do wheelchair racing any more'?" Ault-Connell said.
"That's what started off this journey over the last five years.
"I guess every child hears stories from their parents before they were born and they never quite believe it. Being able to watch the Paralympic Games for them and see what we did was pretty incredible."
Ault-Connell, who had her legs amputated after contracting meningococcal aged 16, also contested the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 before retiring from competitive racing.
After Eva inspired her to return she collected that Gold Coast silver medal before turning her eyes to Tokyo, which she admits would be travelling into the unknown due to the global Covid pandemic which has wreaked havoc on international competition over the last 18 months.
"We've all not been able to race any international marathons - what form is everyone going to be in?" Ault-Connell said.
"Australia is sending an amazingly strong women's athletics team, particularly. Madison de Rozario, Angela Ballard who's another Canberra local. Christie Dawes, Robyn Lambird from WA.
"We're a small little group of racers but I really believe that we will be able to represent Australia to the best of our abilities. If that means that we're up on the podium, well that would be just the sweetest victory of all."
Ault-Connell remained in Canberra for the winter and spent her entire lead-up training at the AIS.
That included being totally isolated from her family after the territory went into lockdown earlier this month.
But she was still able to train as an elite athlete and flew to Japan on Friday to end an astonishing 17-year wait between Paralympic Games appearances.
"The goal was initially just to get back in a race chair and maybe do a couple of fun runs," Ault-Connell said.
"Having that experience [at Gold coast] and having them watch when I came down the finish chute of the marathon and claiming the silver medal, I can't even begin to describe the feeling that that gave me, and the immense amount of pride.
"Just knowing the body's holding up, the mind's holding up, let's try for Tokyo. And that's what we did.
"It's not only now at this stage, it's not just for myself, I also like to think the next generation of children with disabilities if they have dreams of competing for their country, I want to be able to show them that they can.
"And mothers, they can be more than just a mother, they can if they choose to and if they desire to, not only one getting out there and being active but they can get back into competitive sport again."
Ault-Connell will also contest the 100m and 400m T54 events in Tokyo.
And in 11 years she hopes to make an appearance at the Brisbane Games, this time as a mother once more.
"Sport obviously runs pretty deep in the family. My eldest daughter is quite the little athlete herself, she's now training out of the AIS a few times a week and is absolutely loving and thriving on the training," Ault-Connell said.
"The thought of being able to represent Australia in Australia is something that will drive her to be the best that she can be.
"And there's already been the hint of, 'Mum what if we did it together'? It's beautiful the fact she sees her mother as being invincible and being able to do anything."