Jamaican-born British Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason has been killed in a motorcycle crash, according to police.
The 34-year-old, a retired high jumper who claimed Team GB's first track-and-field medal of the 2008 Games in Beijing, is said to have died early on Thursday morning (20 April) after an accident that took place in Kingston. According to the Jamaica Gleaner, Mason "lost control" of the bike while travelling along the Palisadoes main road and died at the scene.
"Germaine Mason, 34, Jamaican-born athlete and former national high jumper, died in a motorcycle crash this morning," the Jamaica Constabulary confirmed via Twitter.
The Caribbean nation's Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, tweeted: "Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity."
Then representing Jamaica, Mason – raised in Kingston but eligible to represent Britain due to his father David being born in London – won World Junior Championship medals in 2000 and 2002 and later took bronze at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest before suffering a career-threatening knee injury.
The former Birchfield Harrier's switch of international allegiance was ratified by the IAAF in 2006 and he made his debut at the European Championships in Gothenburg. Two years later, he tied his personal best jump of 2.34 metres at the first attempt to finish behind Russia's Andrey Silnov at the Bird's Nest and claim a surprise Olympic silver ahead of Yaroslav Rybakov on countback.
Athletes past and present have been quick to pay tribute to Jamaican national record holder and Pan American Games gold medallist Mason, who was a friend of sprint superstar Usain Bolt. Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill wrote: "This is just awful. Such sad news."
Linford Christie said: "Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day.
RIP Germaine. Never forgotten."
Denise Lewis added: "My condolences and deepest sympathy go out to Germaine Mason's family & friends. A tragic loss of such fun & loving person. #ingodshands".