New Zealand's very own blade runner Liam Malone would sacrifice his Rio Paralympics medals in a heartbeat if it meant having his mother back.

The Wellington-based athlete has been taken into the hearts of Kiwis after his brilliant gold medal victory in the T44 200 metres sprint final which fell on the day of his late mother's birthday.

"I'd definitely sacrifice a gold and silver to have her back," Malone said of his mother Trudi Scott who died of cancer in 2012.

Malone, who collected silver in the 100m sprint final, races for his second gold medal tomorrow morning in his specialist event, the 400 metres.


But the 22-year-old, who only took up Paralympics competition two years ago, said the tragedy had also strengthened him

"On the other side of the coin, I learnt a lot from her passing away. I had to learn to stand on my own two feet, as much as a man missing two feet can," said Malone who had both his feet amputated when he was 18 months old after being born with the same congenital disease as infamous South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorious.

"Obviously I got the (100m silver) medal on my mum's birthday which is a very special occasion for both myself, my father and my friends and my family who have been through the process of grieving her loss. That moment will stick with me forever.

"I was in such a dark place and I just needed an overriding goal to get me out of it and to teach myself that hard work is the most important thing to get anything in life - and I've certainly learned that."

Malone, who broke Pistorious's world record in winning the 200m final, admits Rio and his increased public profile has been a surreal experience.

"First two years I really battled and battled and battled and wasn't seeing much progress. It's really just been in the past six months that I have got everything done and gone to the top.

I feel like if you want to achieve something then you have to dedicate yourself to it and it really just comes down to mindset.

"My top speed is good and I spent two years building the tank and the last 8 months we've been putting in the accelerator. So I put down the gas and went for it and it was great. When you're out there you don't really think too much. You're just in the or lose, I'm just stoked to be here."

Malone's journey began with generous support from the New Zealand public who donated $40,000 in funds to assist him with the purchase of his running blades while still in his first year at Canterbury University.

He easily made the 400m final, finishing second to German David Behre with a time of 48.34 seconds - narrowly outside his personal best.

The Paralympic world record for the event is 46.68 and is held by Pistorious after he set the mark in the last Paralympics in London four years ago.