Batman an amazing athlete says Shirvington27 June 2012
Australian sprinter Daniel Batman was an amazing sportsman and his death was a huge loss to athletics, says his former training partner Matt Shirvington.
Batman, 31, was killed on Tuesday when his car hit a culvert on the Arnhem Highway, southeast of Darwin, and rolled.
Police say speed and alcohol are believed to have been factors.
The crash is believed to have happened in the early hours of the morning. The wreckage was noticed by a passing motorist who contacted police around 7am (CST).
The Sydney Olympian was believed to have been in the Northern Territory to visit his two oldest children, Destiny and Jack, who he had with former wife, Olympic hockey gold medallist Nova Peris.
Batman, who had been living in Canberra, late last year had another child, Liberty, with his partner Natalie Sainsbury.
Batman is one of the top 10 fastest ever Australian men over 100m, 200m and 400m, with his best result a sixth place in the 400m at the 2003 world indoor championships.
He was also Australian national 200m champion in 2005 and 2008.
Batman trained with former sprint champion Shirvington ahead of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the pair competed in relays together.
"It's a massive loss for the athletics fraternity," Shirvington told SEN radio.
"He was an amazing athlete.
"We've had faster sprinters but if you look at it across the board he would be the best all-round sprinter we've had."
Shirvington recalled a session when Batman, who briefly attempted a comeback to win selection for next month's London Olympics, refused to leave the training track until he posted a personal best, remaining out there hours after the other athletes.
Former Australian sprinter Melinda Gainsford-Taylor was in the 2000 national team with Batman and said it was a tragedy he died so young.
"It's really hit the athletics fraternity hard," Gainsford-Taylor said.
A former Australian schoolboy rugby representative, Batman, who was a direct descendant of Melbourne's founder John Batman, temporarily quit athletics to try a career with the ACT Brumbies but didn't advance from their training squad.