Ahead of this month’s Asian Games in Indonesia, there is good news for Indian Railways’ athletes and coaches.

The Railways on Thursday announced that its athletes who win medals at the Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games will be promoted as officers.

Union minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, on Thursday, approved a new policy which hands promotions to officer rank to medal winners, two-time Olympians and those who have been awarded the Khel Ratna, Arjuna and Padma Shri.

"In order to give due recognition to the effort put in by the sportspersons, who have made two appearances in Olympics, won a medal in Asian Games/Common Wealth Games, it has now been decided to award them with a promotion to the officer rank. Further Railway sportsperson who are winners of any of the awards like Arjuna/Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award would also be entitled to the said promotion," Railways said in a press release.  

Also, the athletes’ coaches will be rewarded with officer rank, the Indian Railways said. Coaches who have trained athletes to win at least three medals (or one at Olympics) at top multi-discipline global events will be considered for promotion.

"The contribution of the coaches to the successful performance of sportspersons has been duly acknowledged and any coach whose trainees have produced at least three medal winning performances in Olympic Games/ World Cup/ World Championship/ Asian Games/ Commonwealth Games including at least one medal in Olympic Games would be eligible to be promoted as an officer," the Railways said. 

Earlier this year, at the Commonwealth  Games (CWG) in Australia, 10 of the 26 gold medals that India won, came thanks to the Railways athletes.

Railways wrestlers Sushil Kumar (pictured above), Rahul Aware, Sumit Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and weightlifters Mirabai Chanu, Sangita Chanu, Poonam Yadav, Satish Sivalingam and RV Rahul won gold at Gold Coast.

In 2016, 35 athletes from the Railways represented India at the Rio Olympics. The entire women’s hockey team and the weightlifting team were from the Railways.

Asian Games 2018 will be held in Indonesia from August 14 to September 2. India will send a 524-member contingent.