Olympic high jumper Germaine Mason dies in motorbike crash


Reuters

By Kayon RaynorKINGSTON, April 20 (Reuters) - High jump star Germaine Mason
died in a motorbike crash outside Jamaica's capital early on
Thursday, police said, an announcement that prompted tributes to
the British Olympic silver medalist from across the world of
athletics.
    School friend and sprint medalist Michael Frater told
Reuters he went to the scene after hearing about the accident,
and waited there until an ambulance arrived.
    "I'm just devastated at the news, he was a friend from high
school days ... still can't believe this," said Frater, who once
shared an apartment with Jamaican-born Mason in Kingston.
    Mason was driving a motorbike on the main road connecting
Kingston with Jamaica's international airport at around 4.20
a.m. (0920 GMT), police said.
    "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 added in a
statement.
    Mason died aged 34, still holding the 2.34-metre Jamaican
high jump record he set in 2003. He started competing for
Britain in 2006 and won silver medal in the 2008 Beijing
Olympics.
    "Devastated by news of the death of @GermaineMasonHJ 2008
Beijing Olympics Silver Medal winner High Jump 2.34m.
Jamaican record holder. RIP," tweeted @MVPTrackClub, headed by
Stephen Francis who coached him.
    British sprinter James Ellington, who survived a motor cycle
crash in Spain in January, tweeted "Can't believe the news I
have just heard about Germaine Mason."

 ((kayonraynor30@gmail.com))

Keywords: ATHLETICS MASON/CRASH (PIX)



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