The legacy of Betty Cuthbert was still keenly felt by every athlete to wear the green and gold, especially those competing now in London at the world championships who were moved to learn of the death of Australia's greatest athlete, Jess Trengove said.
Cuthbert was dubbed Australia's "Golden Girl" by media after her performance at the Melbourne Olympics.
"Betty was a legend of the sport and Team Australia extends our sympathies to her family and friends at this sad time", she said shortly after finishing sixth in the marathon. Two years later, she focused on the 400 and won gold in that event at the 1964 Olympics.
Eight years later she returned from an 18-month retirement to win her fourth gold in the 400m in Tokyo.
Dubbed the "Golden Girl" of Australian athletics, Cuthbert won gold medals in the 100 and 200-meter sprints as well as the 4x100 meter relay at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 aged just 18.
"Betty battled her illness for many years and showed tremendous courage, but more importantly she always managed to smile", Coates said.
Australian sporting legend Betty Cuthbert has passed away at the age of 79.
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Respected world-wide, Cuthbert was an inaugural inductee to the IAAF Hall of Fame, which began in 2012, and is also a member of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame and the Athletics Australia Hall of Fame.
One of Australia's greatest Olympians, Cuthbert was the country's first athlete inducted into the worldwide track and field federation's Hall of Fame.
A wheelchair-bound Cuthbert was part of the torch relay at the Sydney 2000 opening ceremony. "I'm so happy I got to meet such a tremendous and gracious role model, and Olympic champion".
She remains the only Olympic track athlete to have won the 100m, 200m and 400m and she set nine world records during her career, four of them in 1958, in the 60 metres, 100 yards, 200 metres, 220 yards and 440 yards.
At Athens 2004, swimmer Ian Thorpe became the only Australian to have more gold medals than Cuthbert with five.
MALCOLM TURNBULL, Prime Minister - "Rest in peace Betty Cuthbert - an inspiration and a champion on and off the track".