Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Commonwealth Games: Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard reveals career likely over

Tom Walsh salutes the crowd after throwing a Commonwealth Games record with his first throw Controversial transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard withdraws from the Commonwealth Games with a gruesome elbow injury
| 10 April, 2018, 20:28

On Monday, the 40-year-old weightlifter dislocated her left elbow as she attempted a Games record 132kg for her last snatch lift in the 90kg+ final at the Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre.

Having smashed 120kg in her first attempt and stumbling at 127kg, the New Zealander raised the weight another 5kg for her third attempt to break her personal best of 131kg.

When Laurel Hubbard injured her arm and walked out of the women's 90 kilo weightlifting competition today you could nearly hear the relief in high places.

Just yesterday, New Zealand's high performance director Simon Kent said that "at 40 years of age, this is her last chance to compete on this sort of stage".

There had been much debate over whether the two-time world silver medalist should have been allowed to participate, with critics claiming an athlete who had previously represented her country as a man had an unfair advantage.

"The strength is still there and I think it's very unfair, and for all females it's unfair".

Hubbard defended herself earlier, saying: "Not everyone supports me or accepts me but there are people who do".

'But in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter.

"We know we can't beat (Hubbard). but we wanted her to do a good result and get a good ranking". She previously said: "It would be untrue to say the thought [of a bad reception from the crowd] never crossed my mind".


Former New Zealand heptathlete Sarah Cowley-Ross reacts to Tom Walsh's win and Laurel Hubbard competing as a female weightlifter.

Despite doing everything she could do to prove she deserved her place in the event, Hubbard was forced to endure repeated attempts to stop her from taking part.

However, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) states that for transgender women to compete, they must demonstrate their testosterone levels are below 10 nmol/L for "at least 12 months prior to her first competition".

"I have no regrets about the attempts that I made, because I believe that to be true to sport you really have to try to be the best that you can. It seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament or ... some fairly significant tissue damage, but until we have further scanning we won't know the details or extent of the injury", Hubbard said.

Australian Weightlifting Federation chief Michael Keelan even tried to have the ruling on Hubbard overturned.

The Commonwealth Games Federation also defended Hubbard's right to compete.

"But no indication today that they were anything other than fantastic", she said, "A real credit to Australian people and broader sporting community".

Samoa's Feagaiga Stowers, 17, took gold on Australia's Gold Coast ahead of Nauru's Charisma Amoe-Tarrant.

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