Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom on Sunday said that she hopes to win the Bharat Ratna by winning a gold at the Tokyo Olympics. The 36-year-old is the first female sportsperson to be decorated with the Padma Vibhushan award.

“It is a dream to win the Bharat Ratna. With this award [Padma Vibhushan] I will now be inspired to do even better with the thought that I can win the Bharat Ratna,” Mary Kom told reporters.

She added, “Sachin Tendulkar is the only sportsperson to have won it and I hope to become the second one and the first woman. I want to emulate Tendulkar and I get inspiration from him.”

The 36-year-old Mary Kom, however, said her immediate target is to first qualify for the Olympics. “My immediate target is to first qualify for Olympics and then I will think about the colour of the medal. If I qualify and win a gold in Tokyo I hope to get the Bharat Ratna. To be honoured with Bharat Ratna will be the pinnacle of achievement and recognition for not only a sportsperson, but also for any Indian,” she said.

Bharat Ratna is India’s highest civilian award. The the 2012 Olympics bronze medallist said. She said: “I am proud to be an Indian and I thank God for making me an Indian. Each time I go out to fight for the country, I feel something inside me and that motivates me to bring glory to the country. The kind of love the people of this country have given me, I want to give back with my performance.”

She added: “It is an emotional and touching moment for me to have won the country’s second highest award. And that came when the country is celebrating the Republic Day. I will never forget this day. I thank sports minister for recommending me and also thank the Prime Minister for his support.”