Commonwealth Games: Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard reveals career likely over

A champion lifter when still classified as male critics say Laurel Hubbard cannot be beaten as a female

Controversial transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has withdrawn from the Commonwealth Games with a gruesome elbow injury.

She became the first New Zealand transgender athlete to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.

Hubbard's third lift - an attempt to break her personal best of 131kg - went horribly wrong when Hubbard dropped the bar behind her and the athlete's elbow twisted awkwardly, leading to a withdrawal before the clean and jerk phase.

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

Writing for the New Zealand Herald on Sunday, Kris Shannon proposed that Hubbard would be an ideal candidate to represent New Zealand as national flag bearer for the games. This [the injury] happens sometimes, but that's sport.

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". Most importantly, she doesn't regret going for the record.

Samoan coach Jerry Wallwork controversially criticised the worldwide weightlifting committee for allowing Hubbard to compete ahead of the Games.

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He said: "A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through".

Hubbard is the oldest of the 207 weightlifters competing at the Games. She underwent a full twelve months of hormone replacement therapy and was cleared by the International Olympic Committee past year to compete as a woman. "But when it comes to a professional sporting environment it gets a bit trickier".

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

Only last month Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive Michael Keelan protested against the New Zealander's right to compete, while Samoa's head coach Jerry Wallwork has also voiced his opposition. He claims her presence creates an uneven playing field.

"It's sport, you can't make decisions based on what-ifs". "If you've been a male and you've lifted certain weights and then you suddenly transition to a female, then psychologically you know you've lifted those weights before".

Described as an "introverted character" by New Zealand's weightlifting high-performance director Simon Kent, Hubbard admitted she had anxious about the crowd's reaction prior to competition.

Hubbard allegedly made her changeover to be girl at the time of 35 and now she has fulfilled each criteria below Commonwealth Games policies to qualify for its ladies's over-90kg lifting celebration. "It's an incredible environment and an fantastic atmosphere".

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