Team GB Olympic high jumper Germaine Mason dies in motorbike crash

Mason, 34, finished second in the event at the Beijing games in 2008

Germaine Mason

Image: John Walton/EMPICS Sport

Olympic high jump silver medallist Germaine Mason has been killed in a motorbike crash in Jamaica.

The Team GB athlete, 34, finished second in the event at the Beijing games in 2008.

Jamaican police said Mason apparently lost control of his bike and crashed before dawn in St. Andrew Parish, southeast of the capital, Kingston.

Some reports claimed he was riding in a convoy with a number of athletes, including 100m and 200m world record holder Usain Bolt.

The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper said that Bolt, a close friend of Mason's, was among the first on the scene of the crash.

Jamaican journalist Abka Fitz-Henley tweeted that the athlete was "involved in a crash at 4.20am after a leaving a Soca party".

Soca is a blend of soul and calypso that originates in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mason, who is Jamaica's national record holder in the high jump, was the only person involved in the accident.

Born in Kingston, Mason emigrated to the UK and was eligible to represent Great Britain because his father was born in London.

Mason's mother persuaded him to switch allegiance and it was approved in 2006.

Two years later, Mason, competed at the 2008 Olympics and won the silver with a personal best of 2.34m.

London 2012 gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill was among the athletes to offer their condolences, tweeting: "This is just awful. Such sad news."

Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie tweeted: "Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day. RIP Germaine. Never forgotten."

The news has stunned the island - which prides itself on its long-standing athletics success.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed "sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity" in a tweet.

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