New Delhi: Wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, who clinched gold medals at the ongoing 18th edition of the Asian Games in Jakarta, would be promoted to the rank of gazetted officers by the railways, Railway Ministry officials said on Tuesday.
A senior official said that Punia and Phogat would be promoted to officer rank as per railway rules.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had approved a new policy for promotion of railway sportspersons, whereby, in addition to the sportspersons who won a position or medal in the Olympics, all those sportspersons and coaches who have been awarded Padma Shri will be promoted as officers.
“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,” the ministry had said in a statement.
Phogat became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Games after she thrashed Japan’s Yuki Irie in the 50 kg women’s freestyle final.
Meanwhile, Punia clinched the first gold medal for the country after he defeated Japan’s Daichi Takatani 11-8 in the final of Men’s freestyle 65 kg category.
Speaking to reporters post his feat, Punia expressed confidence in achieving a medal for India at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
“I will try my best to do well at World Championships in October and at 2020 Olympics. I would like to thank all Indians for the love and respect they have given me, if they continue to shower their love on me, I will certainly win a gold at Olympics,” he said.
India’s total medal tally at the ongoing 18th edition of the prestigious event stands at ten with three gold, three silver, and four bronze.