British Olympic high jump silver medallist Germaine Mason has died at the age of 34 after a motorcycle crash, police in Jamaica have said.
The Jamaica-born athlete, who switched to represent Great Britain in 2006, won silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Our sincere condolences to the entire sporting fraternity,” tweeted Jamaica prime minister Andrew Holness.
Mason won Britain’s first athletics medal of the Beijing Games, finishing second behind Russian Andrey Silnov.
The Jamaica Constabulary wrote on Twitter: “Germaine Mason, 34, Jamaican-born athlete and former national high jumper, died in a motorcycle crash this morning.”
British Olympic champions Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, Denise Lewis and Linford Christie have all paid tribute, with Christie saying he would never be forgotten.
‘A truly lovely man’
Mason claimed world indoor bronze for Jamaica in 2003 and recovered after suffering a career-threatening knee injury the following year.
He was eligible to represent Britain because his father David was born in London, and he switched allegiance two years before the Beijing Games.
On his Olympic debut, he managed 2.34m at his first attempt, with favourite Silnov the only athlete to clear 2.36m.
British Athletics senior high jump coach Fuzz Caan, who worked closely with Mason at the time of his Olympic success, called him 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,” he said.
UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos said staff were saddened to hear of Mason’s death.
“Our deepest sympathies go to Germaine’s friends, family and the athletics community at this difficult time,” he said.