Mason wins high jump silver

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The Independent Online

Germaine Mason tonight secured Britain's first athletics medal of the Beijing Olympics with silver in the men's high jump.

Mason equalled his personal best with a clearance of 2.34 metres to finish second behind Russia's Andrey Silnov, who secured gold with a first-time clearance of 2.36m before putting the bar up to 2.42m to attempt a new Olympic record.

Russia's Yaroslav Rybakov took bronze after matching Mason's clearance of 2.34 but losing out on countback after two failures at 2.32m.

Mason, who was born in Jamaica but switched nationalities in 2006, had one failure at 2.29m and then opted to pass on that height, moving up to clear 2.32m and 2.34m with his first attempts.

That had the 25-year-old in gold medal position until Silnov also cleared 2.34m at the first attempt to maintain his flawless record in the competition, the Russian also clearing 2.36m in style.

Mason then failed with his three attempts at 2.36m but rightly celebrated Britain's first high jump medal since Steve Smith won bronze in Atlanta in 1996.

Team-mates Tom Parsons and Martyn Bernard finished eighth and ninth respectively after failing to clear better than 2.25m.