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, who competed for Britain in the 2008 Olympics, 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.
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 Jamaica 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.”
Mason was born in Jamaica but represented Britain in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. He won a silver medal in the high jump.
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. AP