Five years after she helped lead Australia to glory in Rio, Emma Tonegato is back to ensure her team remains the only one to taste success in the Olympic arena.
It's been an eventful period since 2016, the Wollongong sevens star undergoing three shoulder operations as the Australians have battled a growing number of international rivals.
Tonegato's most recent surgery came in February, the 26-year-old impressing coach John Manenti with her determination to prove her fitness at last week's Oceania Sevens in Townsville.
"The first month or so, we challenged each other around whether she was going to be able to get back," Manenti said. "She's worked tirelessly, she's a professional. We speak about experience and what that means, she's somebody who has tread that path.
"She's a real energy player, brings a lot of energy to the group, but she's worked bloody hard. She shouldn't be underestimated in what she's done to get back and playing again and to put her best foot forward to show us what she's capable of doing."
Tonegato is one of five Rio gold medalists returning to defend their crown in Tokyo, the squad led by co-captains Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams.
Eyebrows were raised when the team was named on Saturday, Ellia Green a high-profile omission.
Joining the 28-year-old on the sidelines is fellow Rio gold medalist Chloe Dalton after she fractured her cheekbone in last week's tournament.
Green has battled injuries throughout the past few years, undergoing knee surgery in December.
She had returned to the field, however was lacking the power and speed that helped her become one of the biggest stars in international sevens.
For Manenti this played a role in his final decision, the coach declaring it one of the toughest calls he's had to make.
"It was the hardest conversation I've had to have with someone around selections," Manenti said. "It was a really difficult conversation because I am really close with her.
"I would've loved nothing more than to select her, but her form was just letting her down. She just can't run as quick as she can. Ultimately her weapons, her strength, her X-factors, she just wasn't producing that with any consistency that we'd like to see."
Dalton's injury continues a rocky preparation for the Olympics, Australia unable to find consistent form since their triumph in Rio.
It's in contrast to fierce rivals New Zealand, the Black Ferns using their defeat in 2016 as motivation throughout the past five years.
Australia lost five out of six games during a Trans Tasman series in May, while the Kiwis also prevailed in two clashes during last week's Oceania Sevens.
Manenti makes no secrets of his team's need to improve, however he's confident they will be at their best when they arrive in Tokyo.
"Ultimately gold is what we're trying to achieve. Two things are fair to say, in 2016 we were a sensational team and the current New Zealand team is equally a very strong team.
"We're picking a team to go there to do really well and take them on and medal, hopefully that colour's gold.
"We have to be better than we've been if we're going to do that and the girls are well aware of the challenges ahead."