Jamaican Olympics legend was one of the first people on the scene but could not save his friend
USAIN BOLT has paid tribute to Team GB star Germaine Mason who died in a motorbike accident after partying with the Olympic legend in his Jamaica home.
The 34-year-old died instantly after losing control of his two wheels in the early hours of Thursday morning, with Bolt being one of the first people on the tragic scene and left helpless.
Bolt – who had been pals with the Jamaica-born high jumper since 2002 – is yet to speak publicly about the incident but posted a photo on his Instagram of the 2008 Olympic silver medallist.
Mason was a surprise medallist for Britain in Beijing after being dumped from lottery funding months earlier because his performances had not been good enough.
He leaped a personal best of 2.34m but a knee injury then wrecked his career ahead of the 2009 world championships where Bolt broke his own 100m and 200m world records.
Tributes have poured out from the world of sport with gymnast Louis Smith MBE and marathon veteran Jo Pavey remembering the star.
And Fuzz Caan, the senior high jump coach at British Athletics who worked closely with Mason at the time of his Olympic success, said: “Germaine was 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.”
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Mason won a junior world bronze for Jamaica in Kingston in 2002 when he first made friends with a 15 year-old beanpole called Usain Bolt.
He later switched allegiance to Britain and held a UK passport all his life due to his London-born father David.
When Mason clinched silver in Beijing, Bolt who set two world records in the Bird’s Nest Stadium said: “We’ve been friends since 2002 and I’m very happy for him.
“To me, it doesn’t really matter who he runs for. We’ve been friends since way back.”