Tucking into dinner at burger chain Shake Shack in London on Friday night, Yip Pin Xiu was in the mood to celebrate. After all, the 27-year-old had just ended her campaign at the World Para Swimming Championships with a second gold in the women's 50m backstroke S2.
Her victories at the London Aquatics Centre also saw an end to four months of frustration, after disappointing results at the World Para Swimming World Series meets in Melbourne and Singapore in February and May respectively.
After parting ways with her coach of eight months, Han Jun, in July, Yip linked up with former national swimmer Mark Chay shortly after.
The partnership reaped rewards as Yip won the 100m backstroke S2 on Wednesday night – her first world title since winning the 50m freestyle S3 gold at the 2010 edition in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
She picked up her second gold two days later after clocking 1min 4.43sec in the 50m backstroke S2 final to finish ahead of Angela Procida (1:13.98) of Italy and Canadian Aly van Wyck-Smart (1:17.76).
Yip was in a chirpy mood as she spoke to The Sunday Times yesterday: "This year has been pretty tough with the changes and to be able to hit 1.04 is an improvement and I'm pretty happy.
"I haven't really been hitting the times I wanted for this year. It was a bit frustrating. We only managed to get the groove back and pick up speed a couple of months ago."
IN HER TROPHY CABINET
• 50m backstroke S3 (2008)
• 50m & 100m backstroke S2 (both 2016)
• 50m freestyle S3 (2008)
• 50m freestyle S3 (2010)
• 50m & 100m backstroke S2 (both 2019)
• One silver
• 50m backstroke S3 (2010)
Revealing her goals for the London meet were to clock season-best times, Yip added: "Leading up to the races I wasn't looking at who my competitors were and what positions I could have got because I decided to focus on my timings as that was the only thing I could control.
"Mark really helped in that aspect … in the past one month or so we've really been working hard on trying to get my speed and endurance back and reignite this fire for me to chase the best again."
She had been working with Chay, a two-time Olympian, on her aerobic capacity for the 100m and improving on body position and power for the 50m.
In the past one month, we've really been working hard on trying to get my speed and endurance back and reignite this fire for me to chase the best.
YIP PIN XIU, seeks further improvement ahead of next year's Paralympics in Tokyo.
"Mark introduced more speedwork into training. Training also became a lot more structured and there were goals, which were important to have so that we could work towards it," she added.
"Even though it was