Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
Sport | By Stuart Potter

Transgender weightlifter's historic competition ends in horrific injury

Transgender weightlifter's historic competition ends in horrific injury

New Zealand's transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has withdrawn from competition in the women's +90kg weightlifting final after pulling up with injury.

"The nature of sport is that things don't always go as they should", she added.

Since Hubbard became eligible to compete in worldwide events at the start of previous year, her involvement has polarized views in weightlifting.

"She's taken it all in her stride, she's very much a valued member of our team, the few days she's been here she's blended in and fitted in well".

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

"And I'm happy with the decisions we've made".

"It seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament, some insignificant tissue damage".

The transgender weightlifter has recently faced criticism from people who feel that she should not compete in the women's category.

The New Zealander will leave without a medal, but not entirely without good memories.

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Hubbard said she was nervous about the crowd at the Carrara venue before the event but described their reception as "absolutely magnificent".

"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 Michael Keelan, chief executive of the Australian Weightlifting Federation.

She formally withdrew from the competitors after consulting New Zealand's medical workers, regardless of main the occasion heading into the clear and jerk part.

While some of her fellow weightlifters have declined to comment during the Games, England's Emily Campbell -who competed against Hubbard in the 90kg+ category - was supportive of her rival.

Paul Coffa, secretary-general of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute, took a more conciliatory line when questioned about Hubbard's transgender status. "She's done everything according to the International Olympic Committee rules".

Hubbard passed all the guidelines which allowed the Commonwealth Games Federation to authorise her participation in the 2018 games.

However, she had been the aim of widespread protests and also uproar from competing Pilates federations, which comprised formal asks on her to be banned from the Commonwealth Games.

Commentators were stunned with the accident using Kiwi sporting identities pushing for Hubbard to haul the Kiwi flag in to the closing ceremony earlier in the week.

"This is something that members have expressed various opinions on and it's something that the weightlifting community needs to come together and have some robust debate, discussion, on", he said.

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