Edina Mueller arrived in Tokyo feeling like she had a point to prove, even though she was a paracanoe silver medalist from Rio five years earlier.

Since 2016 the three-time Paralympian had taken time out to have a baby. When she came back she found some people were treating her differently.

“There are always people who have power over you as an athlete, and you don’t feel 100 per cent support from them. It’s difficult, it doesn’t feel good for keeping on doing what you do,” Mueller said.

“It’s hard to hear people say things like ‘I don’t think she is going to come back after pregnancy’, when I said wanted to come back, or things like ‘she’s going to be there but she’s not going to win a medal anyway’.

“To prove them wrong is pretty good. On one hand it makes it hard because they are there all the time and you have to deal with them the whole time, but to do this now, and to sit here with a gold medal, so that they see we did everything right the way we did it, that feels good.

“The support I get from the team and from my family, from the people who are really close to me, that’s the most important thing, that makes the difference.”

Mueller admits she came to Tokyo believing another silver medal was her best hope, but when she defeated Ukranian reigning world champion Maryna Mazhula in her heat, she reassessed her goals.

“My heat gave me so much confidence for the final,” Mueller said.

Its her second gold medal, having won in London as a member of the German women’s basketball team. And its Germany's first ever paracanoe Paralympic gold medal, another significant achievement for an athlete who has already created so much history.

She said even though she stood on Saturday’s podium as an individual winner, she still felt she was part of team.

“There is not so much difference in feeling for the medals,” she said.

“There is a team behind me, I did not win this medal on my own. Yes I was alone on the 200 metres, but there is so much more to it.

“In the end what I do before the race, how I train, it’s my responsibility. I have to decide what’s good for me and what works, so of course it is a little different to win an individual medal.”

The 38-year-old has no plans at this stage for the future. It was at the closing ceremony in Rio, when the flag was handed to Tokyo, that she decided she would continue on.

She’s expecting to get that same feeling when Paris takes over from Sunday night.

Germany Edina Mueller Tokyo Paralympics

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