TIMEOUT WITH...

Dong Thi Hai Yen

ST PHOTO: JUSTIN KOR

2015 Asean Para Games: Day 5

Close to 1,200 athletes from 10 South-east Asian nations are competing at the 8th Asean Para Games in Singapore. Get to know the foreign athletes better as The Straits Times picks out one every day.

Today: Dong Thi Hai Yen, track & field (Vietnam)

Age: 15

Disability: Visually impaired

Q Do you have a lucky charm you brought with you to Singapore? What is it?

A I did not bring anything physical with me, but I believe that the gods have blessed me for the Games.

Q Who's your favourite athlete?

A As I'm visually impaired, I cannot see the athletes and don't have any favourite.

Q What is your favourite sport, other than track and field?

A I love football because there's always a great atmosphere and I like the team spirit of the game.

Q First impression of Singapore?

A Very clean and safe country. The volunteers are so kind to all of us and guide us when we need to go somewhere. They give us plenty of assistance.

Q What is the most challenging thing about your sport?

A As I can't see, I worry that I may fall down while running. I can't shake off that feeling when I'm running most of the time.

Q Favourite food back home?

A Pho (noodle dish). It is our national dish and I've loved it since I was young. We only have instant noodles here so I really miss it.

Q What would you like as a Christmas present?

A I would like to come back to Singapore during Christmas. Not to compete this time, but just for travel.

Q Who is your personal hero?

A My parents are my heroes. I'm thankful that they did not give up on me although I'm visually impaired, but showered me with love when they raised me.

Q Why did you pick up running?

A An athletics head coach came to the special school where I study and introduced us to running.

Q What do you want to be when you grow up?

A A businesswoman. I want to have the same career as my father.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2015, with the headline 'Dong Thi Hai Yen'. Print Edition | Subscribe