British high jumper Germaine Mason has passed away at the age of 34 after suffering a horrific motorbike crash in Jamaica on Thursday.
Olympic champion Usain Bolt, who was a friend of the sprinter, rushed to the scene soon after the accident and reports claim the incident took place at around 04:20 local time.
It is believed Mason was heading towards the direction of the airport and did not have a protective helmet on at that time.
The Jamaican-born ace switched his allegiance to Great Britain in 2006 and won silver in 2008 Beijing Olympics, becoming the first athlete to win a medal for his nation in track and field event.
Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, who is the commanding officer of the Jamaican police traffic and highway division, confirmed to BBC Sport, saying: “Usain Bolt was part of the group that came by and he was very, very emotional, and still is
“I understand they are very close friends.”
The news came as a huge shock to athletics faithful with the entire fraternity deeply saddened with the turn of events.
British Olympic champions Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Denise Lewis, and Linford Christie all paid tributes, stating Mason will not be forgotten.
Senior Supt Allen further notified the media: “Our information suggests he lost control of the motorcycle and fell to the ground and received serious injuries, mainly to his face, head and upper body.
“The evidence suggests he was not wearing a protective helmet.
“It is a very mournful time in Jamaica. The entire country grieves for this standout athlete. It is very, very sad. We want to express our deepest condolences at the untimely death.”
Jamaica prime minister Andrew Holness took to social media and tweeted: “Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity.”
A sportsman who had a dynamic personality and was truly a loving character on and off the track, Mason was adored by his peers.
Speaking on the issue, British Athletics senior high jump coach Fuzz Caan, who closely worked with him during his success tenure at the Olympics, deemed him “an outstanding athlete."
He added: “He [Mason] 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.”
Tributes poured in from all quarters following the revelation of the news, with sporting personalities like Sir Mo Farah, Greg Rutherford, Linford Christie, and Louis Smith taking to social media to pay homage to the athlete.
The world has indeed lost a remarkable competitor and his heroics for the country will be remembered for years.
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