Mallory Weggemann left no doubt in her return to the Paralympic podium on Friday at the Tokyo Games.

She put together an utterly dominant showcase in SM7 classification of the women's 200-meter individual medley, culminating with a gold medal which was nearly a decade in the making.

On Friday she proved she was the best in the world, twice.

In her qualifying heats, Weggemann, of Eagan, set the Paralympic record with a time of 2 minutes, 54.25 seconds. She followed that up in the finals with a 2:55.48 time that had her waiting in the pool for the rest of the field to finish.

When they did — over seven seconds later — the United States' Ahalya Lettenberger had grabbed the silver medal with a time of 3:02.82.

"I'm overwhelmed in all the best ways," Weggemann said in a news pool interview after the race. "I'm filled with so much gratitude for my community that has been a part of this journey, and so much pride in what this represents.

"It's been almost nine years since I've been on that Paralympic podium, sitting atop it, and I have been fighting for it every day since I got off it on September 2nd, 2012, at the London Games. To be here despite many a curveball that could have taken me out of my career time and time again, that's remarkable."

This is Weggemann's third Paralympic Games, and she had put together a string of wins heading into these Games. She won four of her six events at the U.S. Paralympic team trials at the Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center on the University of Minnesota in June.

And she is the reigning world champion in the 50 butterfly and 50 freestyle. But the 200 individual medley wasn't a sure thing — the last time the event was held at the worlds in 2019, Weggemann finished second. And while she does hold the world record in the event with a time of 2:48.43, that was set in 2010.

Still, Weggemann said that setting the Paralympic record in the preliminary heats gave her a good indication of where she was at heading into the finals — even if she was a little upset that her time slipped on the way to her second gold medal.

"Having a good race like that in prelims definitely helps. I traditionally am a faster night swimmer, and so I was a little shocked when I didn't go faster [in the final]," she said. "But at the same time, any race that yields a Paralympic gold medal you cannot be disappointed in. Because that moment when your hand reaches the wall is about something that's so much bigger than you, and something that's bigger than the race itself. Understanding that and knowing that there's a lot of pride in that."

Weggemann's SM7 classification indicates the athletes have use of their arms and trunk but limited or no use of their legs.

She is competing in six events in Tokyo. Weggemann placed fifth in her heat of the SB6 100 breaststroke on Saturday. She is in the pool next for the 100 backstroke on Monday.