Sunday, 22 April, 2018

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's career ended by injury at Commonwealth Games

Coaches of rival teams say transgender lifter Laurel Hubbard's male past gives her an unfair advantage in the women's event Coaches of rival teams say transgender lifter Laurel Hubbard's male past gives her an unfair advantage in the women's event
Sergio Cook | 10 April, 2018, 20:25

Hubbard, formerly "Gavin" before gender transitioning, was a hot favourite for victory in the women's 90kg-plus division at the Carrara Sports Arena and led the competition after the snatch discipline.

Why were people opposed to her presence at the Commonwealth Games?

Hubbard had been "really buoyed" by the crowd's reaction to her first lift, he said.

Hubbard's inclusion in the competition flipped the ladies's over-90kg type in to a few of the most discussed events in the guide up to the Gold Coast video games.

"A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through, but in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter", said Jerry Wallwork, head coach for Samoa's weightlifting team.

"I was out back with her and my gut was to not go for the heavier weight, but she looked me in the eye and said, 'No no no, I want the 132, ' and I wasn't going to say no to her".

"She is very comfortable with who she is and she is participating in a sport she loves". She previously said: "It would be untrue to say the thought [of a bad reception from the crowd] never crossed my mind".

Australian Weightlifting Federation chief govt Michael Keelan final month known as on the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Commonwealth Video games Federation to rewrite the rule guide that has allowed Hubbard to compete on the Gold Coast.

Stowers has only been lifting for around three years, and this was her first major worldwide competition. "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.

Hubbard's withdrawal paved the way for Stowers to claim the gold with a combined total of 253kg, ahead of Nauruan lifter Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (243) and England's Emily Campbell (242). "But there's no indication at all today that they were anything other than absolutely fantastic, a real credit to the Australian people and also the broader sporting community". "The federation's position on this has been clear in terms of respecting the athlete's right to compete, the rules of the global weightlifting federation in terms of their eligibility conditions".

Hubbard herself had earlier acted very diplomatically when speaking of the criticism.

"And no other athlete at these Games is as important, given the gradual fight for LGBT rights in and outside of sport", she wrote.

Despite this, Hubbard put on another 3kg for a 130kg hoist for her next lift.

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