<
>

Ex-GB high jumper Germaine Mason dies in motorcycle crash

Germaine Mason died in a motorcycle accident in Jamaica on Thursday. David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

Former Olympic high jumper Germaine Mason has died after a motorcycle crash on Thursday, according to Jamaican police.

The 34-year-old won silver for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing after changing his allegiance from Jamaica in 2006.

The Jamaica Constabulary, the country's police force, wrote on Twitter: "Germaine Mason, 34, Jamaican-born athlete and former national high jumper, died in a motorcycle crash this morning."

Reports have said he was riding in a convoy with a number of athletes, including 100-meter and 200-meter world-record holder Usain Bolt, when he lost control of his bike.

Mason was born in Jamaica before switching allegiance to represent Great Britain, who he qualified for through his father, David.

He claimed silver at the Beijing Olympics, jumping 2.34 metres to finish behind Russian Andrey Silnov.

Previously Mason had won bronze at the 2004 World Indoor Championships for Jamaica and earned a silver at the World Junior Championships in 2000.

Mason is still the holder of the Jamaican national record in the high jump, which he set before he immigrated to the UK.

Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness tweeted after his death: "Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity."

Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill also wrote on Twitter: "This is just awful. Such sad news."

A UK Athletics statement read: "UK Athletics is deeply saddened to hear that the 2008 Olympic high jump silver medallist Germaine Mason has tragically died in Jamaica.

"The 34-year-old won silver at the Beijing Olympic Games representing Great Britain, where he equalled his personal best of 2.34m in the competition."

Niels de Vos, CEO of UK Athletics, spoke on behalf of the governing body, and said: "Our staff and colleagues who worked with Germaine are naturally saddened to hear this awful news. Our deepest sympathies go to Germaine's friends, family and the athletics community at this difficult time."

Senior high jump coach at British Athletics, Fuzz Caan, who worked closely with Germaine at the time of his Olympic success, added: "Germaine was an outstanding athlete and a truly lovely man. He had a wry sense of humour and was a pleasure to be around.

"He was a great ambassador of British high jumping. It is an honour for us to have him as part of our sporting history."