Clifton Bertrand, a former T&T Olympic sprinter at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, passed away this morning his daughter Lisa Bertrand Brathwaite told the media. He was 84.
It is reported that Bertrand, who was a diabetic and wrote a weekly blog died of natural causes on Sunday morning at his home in New York, USA.
He was dubbed a T&T track legend and a proud New York University graduate.
Bertrand, who was born in Arima in 1936, won a gold medal in 200 meters at the 1957 British West Indies Championships, and three gold medals at the 1958 British West Indies Championships. He participated in three events at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games but did not reach the final in either.
However, at the 1959 Pan American Games, he finished fifth in the 200 metres and won a bronze with the British West Indian Federation 4 x 100 metres relay team. His teammates were Michael Agostini, Wilton Jackson and Jamaican Dennis Johnson. Bertrand then competed at the 1960 Olympic Games, reaching the quarter-finals of the 200 metres. He also ran in the heats of the 4x400 metres relay for the British West Indian Federation team that would later, in the final, win a bronze medal.
Bertrand, a member of the local athletic club Abilene Wildcats, left T&T for the United States as a teenager. He eventually graduated with a B.S. and M.S. from the New York University, and later as Doctor of Education from the Columbia University. He finished sixth in the 1962 NCAA championship.
At the 1963 Pan American Games he won two bronze medals; in the 400 metres and the 4 x 100 metres relay with teammates Anthony Jones, Irving Joseph and Cipriani Phillip. He competed at the 1964 Olympic Games without reaching the final, and finally, at the 1966 Commonwealth Games, he finished eighth in the 4 x 110 yards relay with teammates Henry Noel, Cipriani Phillip and Winston Short.
In 2008, Bertrand was inducted into the Trinidad and Tobago Hall of Fame along with other well respected and deserving T&T athletes.
Bertrand married Phoebe Yuille, an educator from T&T, who passed away in 2003. Their daughter Lisa is a lawyer in New York.
Brathwaite told Guardian Media Sports that the family is in the process of making funeral arrangements and considering all the restrictions in place due to Covid-19.
Bertrand leaves to mourn Kay Garib, his companion, as well as his daughter Lisa Bertrand Brathwaite and son-in-law Frank Brathwaite.