KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday April 20, 2017 – A Jamaican who held his country’s record in high jump but later represented Great Britain in the event at the 2008 Olympics, died this morning in a motorcycle crash, throwing the sporting community into a tailspin.
Germaine Mason died on the spot when he lost control of his Honda CBR motorcycle on the Palisadoes main road in Kingston around 4:20 a.m.
“He allegedly lost control and fell from the motorcycle. The police were summoned and Mason was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead,” the Jamaica Constabulary Force said in a statement.
The bike on which Germaine Mason was riding when he crashed and died along the Palisadoes main road in Kingston – Jermaine Barnaby photo pic.twitter.com/3UthWhAcUl
— Jamaica Gleaner (@JamaicaGleaner) April 20, 2017
Media reports indicate that the 34-year-old Mason had been partying with several friends – including Olympic champion Usain Bolt and world championship 100m silver medallist Michael Frater – before the crash.
There are conflicting reports about whether Bolt and Frater were actually riding with him at the time of the accident.
— KïRû (@nkirukabee) April 20, 2017
Mason migrated to England and, by virtue of his father being British, was able to switch allegiance in 2006. He represented Great Britain in the Olympics in Beijing two years later, winning a high jump silver medal.
Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed condolences to the sporting fraternity in a Twitter post.
Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity.
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) April 20, 2017
And Niels de Vos, the chief executive of UK Athletics, issued a statement on behalf of the governing body.
“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,” de Vos said.
The Guardian also quoted Fuzz Caan, the senior high jump coach at British Athletics who worked closely with Mason at the time of his Olympic success, as saying that he 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,” he said.
— British Athletics (@BritAthletics) April 20, 2017
Mason was the father of a five-year-old son.