Malone wants to become NZ's fastest man over 400m

Liam Malone, from Tasman, winds up after launching out of the blocks in the 400m race in March at...
Liam Malone, from Tasman, winds up after launching out of the blocks in the 400m race in March at the Caledonian in Dunedin. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Double Paralympic gold medallist Liam Malone has his sights set on breaking the national able bodied record and becoming the fastest man in the country over 400 metres.

Malone returned from Rio today to a hero's welcome at Auckland airport after winning gold with Paralympic record-breaking times in the men's 400 metre T43 (46:20s) and 200 metre T32 (21:06s) events and also claimed silver in the 100 metre (11:02s).

Not content with that haul, the 22-year-old wants to compete in the New Zealand Nationals and believes he can compete with the fastest able bodied runners in the country.

"Next for me, in terms of competition, will be nationals (and) break the New Zealand able bodied record which is 46.1," Malone told NZME's Laura McGoldrick.

"I'll go into the 45's I hope."

Malone says a lack of competition in New Zealand means he already has to train and compete against able bodied runners.

The Nelson-born Wellington-based athlete recalled how a lack of sporting prowess as a youngster is driving him to become the fastest New Zealander over 400 metres.

"I have an advantage in (that) I just run against the able bodied guys because I don't have anyone else to compete against.

"And so it's not legit in a sense, but I'm a kid who lost every race at primary school, high school, (was the) worst on the rugby field, sucked at team sports, always let people down.

"So the narrative of going from being that person to being the fastest person in the country over 400 metres, advantage or no advantage, I couldn't care less.

"To me that's pretty cool."

The next few days will allow Malone the chance to explore some business opportunities that have come in the wake of his success in Rio before resuming his university studies next Monday.

But before he hits the books he revealed a desire to follow up on some opportunities to do some stand-up comedy.

"That's something I've always wanted to do," he said.

"I've had some people reach out to me to offer some advice and opportunities which are pretty soon, so I'm going to have to really start learning how to write jokes and get on to that within the next couple of days."

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