New Zealand transgender lifter bids for world championship gold

Postado Dezembro 07, 2017

Laurel Hubbard, 39, from New Zealand finished second overall to USA competitor Sarah Robles.

Hubbard competed as a woman at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in April and also became the first transgender to represent New Zealand in a weightlifting competition at the 2017 Australasian Championships in March, where Hubbard won gold.

"She stayed away because she was embarrassed, probably", Swords told Reuters.

Tim Swords, the coach of world champion Sarah Robles, says he wasn't surprised Hubbard continued her policy of not speaking to media in the wake of her twin silvers.

He also broke his own snatch world record by 3kg when he lifted 220kg.

Hubbard complies with the conditions put in place by the International Olympic Committee, whose procedures on transgender athletes are followed by the International Weightlifting Federation. Robles totalled 284 kilograms ahead of Hubbard, who lifted 275kg, and Egyptian Shaimaa Khalaf on 268kg.Talakhadze won the men's super-heavyweights with a total of 477kg, improving his own world record by 4kg. But not everyone is happy about Hubbard competing as a woman.

Swords said Hubbard's presence wasn't welcomed by some in Anaheim.

Ursula Garza Papandrea, chair of the IWF Women's Commission and president of USA Weightlifting, said the presence of Hubbard "certainly has the potential to draw a lot of controversy".

Mohamed Hosnytaha, coach of third-placed Khalaf, said Hubbard's background meant the competition wasn't a level playing field.

Many rivals, however, felt she has an unfair advantage.

She has won the three events in which she has taken part, all in Australia, since her debut in worldwide weightlifting last March and is in New Zealand's team for the Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast next April.

"We're in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies ... where you've got that aggression, you've got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights", Australian Weightlifting Federation (AFW) chief executive Michael Keelan said.

"I'm a glass half full man so I see the positivity that this is wider than sport, this brings to the forefront of what does it look like to be a genuinely diverse and inclusive society, getting people taking about something that potentially wouldn't be at the forefront of discussion so overall I think its a positive thing".