19 Dec 2016

Bladerunner Liam Malone looks to the future

9:53 am on 19 December 2016

Paralympic sprint champion Liam Malone is looking to the future - and it's not all about sport.

The 22-year-old New Zealander became a household name this year after being catapulted onto the world stage at the Rio Paralympics.

Liam Malone after winning in Rio Paralympics 2016.

Liam Malone after winning in Rio Paralympics 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Malone, who only took up sprinting in 2014, won silver in the 100 metres T44 event, before going on to win gold in the 200 and 400 metres - breaking paralympic records held by Oscar Pistorius in the process.

His down-to-earth attitude and confidence earned him fans around the world.

"Pretty much the day I decided to go in 2014, I said I wanted to win.

"You've got to set your goals unrealistically high and usually that will deliver a better result than aiming mid to low.

"It was going to be tough for me because I was going to be competing against people who had been doing it for longer than me. So the issue was around the physics and engineering behind the blades and then getting to the physical condition required in that time, and fortunately it all came together."

Liam Malone wins 400m at Rio Paralympics.

Liam Malone wins 400m at Rio Paralympics. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Malone admits athletics hasn't always been his passion.

"I never got into sprinting because I liked athletics.

To be honest I'm not a big fan of sport, but I did this to change my life and ... make a change in society.

"Moving forward to Tokyo in 2020, it's not about winning, but rather becoming the fastest person on the planet because I think that's a really important thing to do in terms of breaking down societal perceptions around disability.

"I think it's far more likely that I become the fastest man on the planet by 2020 than it was for me to win gold at Rio. It's really just a function of engineering and matching that with my own capabilities."

The 22-year-old says his future is away from the track.

"I'm far more interested in business and entrepreneurship, so the thing is about adding as much to society as possible and hopefully have enough money to get into some start-ups.

"I'd also like to get into stand-up comedy and acting as that's something I've always wanted to do."