Rio Paralympics: Liam Malone breaks another Oscar Pistorius record to win 400m T44
Kiwi Blade Runner Liam Malone smashed another Paralympic record set by Oscar Pistorius to sprint to his second gold medal in Rio on Friday (NZ time).
Malone's winning time of 46.20 seconds in the final of the men's 400m T44 was just 0.11s outside of New Zealand's able-bodied record, as he secured his third medal in his sensational debut at the Paralympic Games.
The 22-year-old Nelson sprinter crossed the line ahead of Germany's David Behre and USA's Hunter Woodhall, who won silver and bronze respectively.
Malone won silver in the 100m last Saturday before his first gold in the 200m on Tuesday.
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A photo finish was needed to see if the Kiwi had edged German runner Behre, but another strong finish saw Malone home for his third medal in six days.
"I knew these boys were fast," Malone told Newstalk ZB. "I had the top end speed and I went out hard. I knew it was going to be kill or be killed.
"Coming into that last bend I just put my foot on the gas and did my best not to crumble down the back straight, which is what happens to most people."
A shattered Malone, who admitted he didn't sleep before he won silver in the 100m, said he would be chilling out in Rio before deciding what to do next after his outstanding performances at his first Paralympics.
"I'm glad to be going to celebrate with some friends and we'll brainstorm what's next," he told Newstalk ZB.
"I've got a whole bunch of friends here, and some that have flown down from Norway, too. We're all going to get together and celebrate, and with my dad as well."
His winning time in the 200m final broke Pistorius' Paralympic record - and he repeated that feat again to take gold in the 400m, beating Pistorius' record of 46.68s by 0.48s.
Malone's gold medal means New Zealand have matched the target of 18 medals set before the Games, but they're still three short of their gold medal target of 12.
The team are ninth on the medal table with nine golds, five silvers and four bronze medals.
FISHER MISSES OUT ON GOLD
Para-swimmer Mary Fisher couldn't add another gold medal to her tally in Rio after finishing fourth in the women's 100m freestyle S11.
The 23-year-old from Wellington had won gold in the last two world championships in the event and won silver at the London Games four years ago.
She was second at the halfway stage, but was overtaken by China's Li Guizhi and Holland's Liesette Bruinsma, who won silver and bronze respectively.
China's Xie Qing won gold with a time of one minute and 8.03 seconds.
"I just gave it everything I possibly could and to get just fourth is a little bit disappointing but I'm so happy with how I swam the race," said Fisher.
"I went out as hard as I could and just gave it everything I had in the tank possible. So I am off now to jump in the ice bath and prepare for tomorrow's race!"
Fisher, who won gold in the women's 100m backstroke S11 last Saturday, clocked a time of 1:09.47 after qualifying for the final fifth fastest.
She races in her last event of the Games on Saturday, in the women's 200m individual medley SM11.
HOW NZ FARED ELSEWHERE
New Zealand's first gold medallist of the Games, Dunedin's Anna Grimaldi, who won the women's long jump T47, was disqualified from the women's 200m T47 due to a lane infringement, which wasn't challenged after a video review.
The 19-year-old missed out on Saturday's final despite finishing third in her heat. She had come fourth in the 100m event earlier this week.
Scott Martlew finished eighth in the final of the Men's KL3, which was a decent return for New Zealand's first ever para-canoeist at the Paralympics, given he was called up to the team just a few weeks ago following the suspension of Russian para-athletes.
The Christchurch para-canoeist finished four seconds behind Ukraine's Serhii Yemelianov, who won gold.
Hamilton para-swimmer Jesse Reynolds swam a personal best time of 1:04.50 in the men's 100 butterfly S9, but he could only finish fifth in his heat and he missed out on the final in his last event of his first Paralympics.
Sonar para-sailing crew of Chris Sharp, Andrew May and Richard Dodson have dropped from third to sixth after eight races at Rio's Marina da Gloria.
The trio finished 10th and 8th on Friday in tricky, shifty conditions.
"It was a hard day. We were in so close to the beach, very, very shifty," said skipper Dodson. "So for us, it wasn't good."
"A hard day, quite windy, but shifty - very shifty. Very difficult."
There are just three races left in the event, including the medal race on Sunday (NZ time).