Usain Bolt 'very emotional' over Olympian Germaine Mason's death in motorcycle crash
Champion sprinter Usain Bolt is reeling from the death of his friend, Olympic high-jumper Germaine Mason.
Mason, the silver medallist in high jump at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, died from injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash near Kingston on Thursday.
Bolt was believed to have been riding in a convoy with Mason when the crash happened just before dawn on the Caribbean island. Mason, 34, was believed to have lost control of his Honda motorcycle, resulting in the crash.
Police said Bolt, holder of the 100m and 200m sprinting world records, was "very emotional".
"Usain Bolt was part of the group that came by and he was very, very emotional, and still is," commanding officer of the Jamaican police traffic and highway division, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, told the BBC.
"I understand they are very close friends" he added.
Mason was well-regarded in athletics circles and while he was born in Jamaica, he represented Great Britain at the Olympics.
"Germaine was an outstanding athlete and a truly lovely man,'' senior high jump coach at British Athletics Fuzz Caan said.
Caan worked closely with Mason at the time of his Olympic success in 2008.
"He [Mason] had a wry sense of humour 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 Jamaica reported that several other athletes, including sprinter Usain Bolt, turned up at the accident scene immediately after crash, which occurred around 4.30am (NZT 9.30pm).
Bolt's agent did not immediately respond to a request for comment.