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'You did us all proud' - fans pay tribute to Paralympics champion Liam Malone after shock retirement

Fans haven't wasted any time in paying tribute to former Parasprinter Liam Malone, after the Kiwi star called time on his career last night.

Malone, 24, captured the hearts of the nation during his display at the 2016 Paralympics, where his impressive feats on the track were matched by his character off it.

In a statement released last night, the double gold medallist said that his decision was down to being unable to commit to his sport, and will now begin a corporate job with Soul Machines.

Malone says he wants to prove to young aspiring athletes that people with disabilities are capable in competing with able body athletes. Source: 1 NEWS

On social media, users were quick to acknowledge Malone for his role in bringing Paralympic sports closer towards the mainstream.

"You did us all proud! Thank you for being you Liam Malone," one fan tweeted.

The Kiwi Paralympic gold-medallist gave an emotional interview to TVNZ1's Sunday. Source: Sunday

"Best wishes for your future and for being honest..not always easy to train when your heart isn't in it. And you gave your all and one day you might pick it up again," another fan posted on 1 NEWS' Facebook page.

"I'm a double amputee and he was my inspiration. All the best bud," another fan wrote.

A third comment on 1 NEWS Facebook read: "You will succeed in whatever you do, you have done our country proud."

He's now a household name, but Martin Tasker caught up with the sprint ace long before he was famous. Source: Sunday

"Feel even more privileged to have covered his efforts in Rio now. Go well @LiamMalone93, no doubt you’ll smash whatever you set your mind to," 1 NEWS' Australian correspondent Kimberlee Downs wrote.

The Paralympic star told 1 NEWS' Andrew Saville he's got no plan to slow down. Source: 1 NEWS