Daniel Batman (r) defeats Jeremy Wariner over 200m in Sydney (Getty Images) © Copyright

Batman perishes in car crash

The IAAF is saddened by the news that former Australian sprint star Daniel Batman died this morning in a car crash near Darwin. He was 31.

Known for his versatility and range over 100m, 200m and 400m, Batman competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and represented Australia at two World Championships, two World Indoor Championships, two IAAF World Cups and 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Twice a national 200m champion, Batman was sixth in the 400m at the 2003 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham and more recently finished fifth as part of the 4x100m Relay quartet at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki.

He set both his 100m best of 10.19 and 200m best of 20.44 in 2005. His personal record in the 400m or 45.02 came in Canberra in 2003. Less than two weeks later he set his indoor best of 45.93 in Birmingham, and Oceania indoor record.

Several Australian athletes shared paid their respects through postings on twitter and other social media networks.

"RIP Daniel Batman. You were truly an original," reigning Olympic Pole vault champion Steven Hooker said via twitter. "All our thoughts are with your young family."

"Daniel Batman was the best all round sprinter Australia has ever seen," sprinter Matt Shirvington wrote on Twitter. "Rest in Peace mate."