The Game Chang­ers


India Today - - INSIDE - by Sukant Deepak san­deep sahdev pho­to­graphs by

The re­gion’s top sportsper­sons re­veal the se­cret to their phe­nom­e­nal suc­cess.

Speed Cham­pion BANI YA­DAV, 46, Ral­ly­ist, Gur­gaon/Chandi­garh

Who is She? The only woman in In­dia to have won the Asia Cup for The In­dian Rally Cham­pi­onship (IRC) in 2015, Bani Ya­dav, who was re­cently awarded The Out­stand­ing Woman in Mo­tor­sports for Ral­ly­ing 2016 by The Fed­er­a­tion of Mo­tor­sports Club of In­dia (FMSCI) has also won the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Hi­malaya, Maruti Suzuki Dak­shin Dare and Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm in the women's cat­e­gory. Bani en­tered mo­tor­sports only four years ago and de­spite ma­jor spinal prob­lems, which had her bedrid­den for months, she never let any­thing de­ter her from fur­ther pur­su­ing her pas­sion.

All in the Genes Re­mem­ber­ing her mother and aunts who par­tic­i­pated in vin­tage car ral­lies in the 60s, when it was rare to spot a woman be­hind the wheels, Ya­dav says, “The genes were there, but all credit goes to my hus­band Suresh Ya­dav. He has al­ways mo­ti­vated me to push my bound­aries.” The Adren­a­line Rush The ral­ly­ist says that speed has al­ways fas­ci­nated her, not to men­tion the kick that she gets when peo­ple see a woman her age drive well and give men heart­burn. All Set For The IRC round in Septem­ber, the Maruti Suzuki Dak­shin Dare in July and the Maruti Suzuki Raid De Hi­malayas in Oc­to­ber. Dodg­ing Chal­lengesYa­dav ad­mits that one of the big­gest chal­lenges she faces is be­ing a woman in a man’s world. “The dis­crim­i­na­tion is ev­i­dent, right from the glares I get from com­peti­tors who are up­set af­ter los­ing to me. But it’s the same in ev­ery field I guess.”

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