Malone made quite an impact on his Paralympic debut in Rio winning two gold medals, one silver and setting Paralympic records in each event he competed in.
His first event in Rio was the 100m T44. In the heats he broke the T43 Paralympic record clocking 10.90. Although he ran 11.02 in the final, it was still good enough to win him silver behind Great Britain’s Jonnie Peacock.
He struck gold in the 200m T44 with an emphatic display of sprinting. He lowered the Oceania record to 21.33 in the heats and in the final went even faster.
In a thrilling two-horse race with the USA’s Hunter Woodhall, Malone crossed the line in 21.06 to not only win his first Paralympic title but break the 200m T43 Paralympic record that had been set by South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius at London 2012.
If the 200m was thrilling, then the 400m T44 was outstanding with Malone, Woodhall and Germany’s world champion David Behre all vying for gold.
Malone crossed the line first in 46.20 to take his second Paralympic gold and Pistorius’ 400m T43 Paralympic record from London 2012. Just half a second separated the top three finishers as Behre (46.23) took silver with a European record and Woodhall (46.70) the bronze with an Americas record.
For his achievements in Rio he was named a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2017 and was named Sportsperson of the Year and Sportsman of the Year at the 2016 Nelson Sports Awards in New Zealand.
Born with fibular hemimelia (part of the fibula bone missing) in both leg, Malone had both legs amputated below the knee at age 18 months.
Malone first showed promise as a sprinter as a teenager but took time out from the sport whilst his mother battled with cancer, a battle she sadly lost.
He returned to the sport in 2013 and appeared on the New Zealand television programme “3rd Degree” in September that year to successfully raise NZD 20,000 to buy some new carbon fibre running blades.
He competed at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, finishing fifth in the 100m T44 (11.42) and sixth in the 200m T44 (22.90).
Further personal information
He was named the 2016 Sportsperson with an Impairment of the Year at the 2017 Halberg Awards in New Zealand. (paralympic.org, 10 Feb 2017)
He was named Sportsperson of the Year and Sportsman of the Year at the 2016 Nelson Sports Awards in New Zealand. (stuff.co.nz, 25 Nov 2016)
He was named the 2016 Man of the Year by New Zealander magazine M2. (paralympic.org, 11 Nov 2016)
In October 2016 he received the key to the city of Nelson, New Zealand, in recognition of his performance at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (stuff.co.nz, 08 Oct 2016)
He announced his retirement from Para athletics in January 2018. "External events both in and out of my control have taken a toll on my training and I don't feel I have the emotional investment or necessary focus and energy to succeed at the highest level [at the 2020 Paralympic Games] in Tokyo. Becoming an elite athlete was an incredible journey but life is short, I want to find something that I can commit to and be happy in for a long time. It would be unjust to commit half-heartedly to those who support me." (athletics.org.nz, 09 Jan 2018)
In July 2017 he was named a member of the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] athletes advisory group for Para athletics. (paralympic.org, 28 Jul 2017)
|Men's 200 m T44||Heat 1||2015-10-24||7|
|Men's 200 m T44||Final 1||2015-10-25||6|
|Men's 100 m T44||Heat 2||2015-10-29||7|
|Men's 100 m T44||Final 1||2015-10-29||5|
|Men's 100 m T44||Heat 2||2016-09-08||1|
|Men's 100 m T44||Final Round||2016-09-09||2|
|Men's 200 m T44||Heat 2||2016-09-11||1|
|Men's 200 m T44||Final Round||2016-09-12||1|
|Men's 400 m T44||Heat 2||2016-09-14||2|
|Men's 400 m T44||Final Round||2016-09-15||1|