Olympic athlete Ger­maine Ma­son killed in crash in Ja­maica

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Olympic medal-win­ning track and field athlete Ger­maine Ma­son died yes­ter­day in a mo­tor­cy­cle crash in out­side the cap­i­tal of his na­tive Ja­maica, po­lice in the Caribbean is­land said.

Ma­son ap­par­ently lost con­trol of his Honda mo­tor­cy­cle be­fore dawn in St. Andrew Par­ish, the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force said in a state­ment. The 34-year-old athlete was taken to a lo­cal hospi­tal but did not sur­vive.

Ma­son was born in Ja­maica but rep­re­sented Bri­tain in the 2008 sum­mer Olympics in Beijing. He won a sil­ver medal in the high jump, with a per­sonal best of 2.34 me­ters.

“Ger­maine was an out­stand­ing athlete and a truly lovely man,” said Se­nior high jump coach at Bri­tish Athletics, Fuzz Caan, who worked closely with Ma­son at the time of his Olympic suc­cess. “He had a wry sense of hu­mor and was a plea­sure to be around. He was a great am­bas­sador of Bri­tish high jump­ing.”

Ben Hawes, the chair­man of the Bri­tish Olympic As­so­ci­a­tion’s ath­letes’ com­mis­sion, ex­pressed con­do­lences on be­half of the coun­try’s Olympians.

“Win­ning a sil­ver medal in Beijing places him amongst a unique group of ath­letes and un­der­lines what a tal­ented in­di­vid­ual he was,” Hawes said.

Au­thor­i­ties did not dis­close a pos­si­ble cause of the ac­ci­dent, which oc­curred in an area by the air­port that is fre­quently used by peo­ple to race cars and mo­tor­cy­cles in the early morn­ing hours.

The Gleaner news­pa­per in Ja- maica re­ported on its web­site that sev­eral other ath­letes, in­clud­ing sprinter Usain Bolt, turned up at the ac­ci­dent scene im­me­di­ately af­ter crash, which oc­curred around 4:30 a.m.

Bolt’s agent did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Ewan Scott, records di­rec­tor at the Ja­maica Athletics Ad­min­is­tra­tive As­so­ci­a­tion, told The Associated Press that the is­land’s gov­ern­ing body for track and field has “not heard of any of our ath­letes be­ing part of this in­ci­dent.”

The news stunned Ja­maica, a coun­try that takes par­tic­u­lar pride in its rel­a­tively large num­ber of stand­out ath­letes in track and field. Prime Min­is­ter Andrew Hol­ness ex­pressed “sin­cere con­do­lences to the en­tire sport­ing fra­ter­nity” in a mes­sage on Twit­ter.

Bri­tain’s Ger­maine Ma­son ges­tures af­ter an at­tempt, in the men's high jump fi­nal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The 34-year-old won sil­ver for Great Bri­tain in Beijing. Photo: AP

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