Thursday, 20 April 2017 23:00

Sir Mo Farah leads tributes to tragic former British high jumper Germaine Mason

Sir Mo Farah led the tributes to Olympic silver medallist Germaine Mason after the high jumper died following a motorcycle crash.

Jamaican police said the 34-year-old, who won silver for Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, was involved in an accident in Kingston on Thursday morning.

Farah, a team-mate of Mason's at those Games, said on Twitter: "So shocked and saddened to hear the news about my friend Germaine Mason. Prayers with his family. #RIP."

According to reports, Usain Bolt, a friend of Mason, was among a number of athletes who arrived on the scene shortly after the crash.

Mason was born in Jamaica before switching allegiance to represent Great Britain, for whom he qualified through his father David, in 2006. He had won bronze at the World Indoor Championships for Jamaica two years earlier.

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

That was the last time he represented Britain at a major championships, though, as injuries took their toll on his career.

UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos 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."

British high jump coach 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 said: "The whole of the BOA is incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Germaine Mason.

"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."

Many athletes also paid tribute, with Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill writing on Twitter: "This is just awful. Such sad news."

Former Olympic 100m champion Linford Christie tweeted: "Heart goes out to friends and family of Germaine Mason on this sad day. R I P Germaine . Never forgotten."

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

AP -- OmRiyadat