Tributes paid after former British Olympian dies aged 34

Tributes have been paid to former British Olympic high jumper Germaine Mason after he died following a motorcycle crash.

Jamaican police reported the 34-year-old, who won silver at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, was involved in an accident in Kingston on Thursday morning.

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

UK Athletics issued a statement with chief executive Niels de Vos offering the governing body's sympathies.

He 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 Mason 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."

British Olympic Association chief executive Bill Sweeney also gave his condolences.

"The whole of the BOA is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Germaine Mason," he said.

"Germaine was a great athlete, an Olympian and a silver medal winning part of Team GB who made history at Beijing 2008. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

Reports claimed Mason was riding in a convoy with a number of athletes, including the 100 metre and 200 metre 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, in 2006.

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

Mason is still the holder of the Jamaican national record in the high-jump.

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" with 1992 Olympic 100 metre champion Linford Christie adding: "Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day. R I P Germaine . Never forgotten."

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