Photo: North Sport Olympic Weightlifting/ Facebook
A new weightlifting record has been broken by Laurel Hubbard, a transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, after winning twice in this year’s IWF World Weightlifting Championships.
Hubbard is breaking down barriers when it comes to weightlifting. Aside from the fact that she is transgender, according to a New Zealand news site, Stuff.co.nz, Hubbard is the very first New Zealander who took home a medal from any world championships.
Last Tuesday, in Anaheim, California, Lauren Hubbard competed in 90 kg-plus division snatch category and won silver with a total lifted weight of 606 lbs, next to Robles who lifted a total of 626 lbs and has been a world title holder since 1994.
In the past, Hubbard used to compete in the men’s category so her shift to the women’s category came with a lot of detractors.
According to Robles’ coach Tim Swords, “Nobody wanted (Hubbard) to win,”
A report from Stuff says:
“Hubbard, who was politely applauded by a small crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center, has been one of the talking points of the week in California. The 39-year-old, who lived as a man for 35 years, was abused on social media before the championships, and many coaches were clearly unhappy with her presence.”
The report continued, “When Swords posted a photo of Hubbard on social media in early November, with an innocuous comment about her presence at the world championships, it led to a number of abusive posts by others.
“There was no controversy between the lifters about her presence here, but there was between some of the coaching staffs,” said Swords. “When Sarah beat Hubbard in the snatch we were congratulated by multiple coaching staffs. Nobody wanted her to win.”
Mohamed Hosnytahan of Egypt, coach to Shaimaa Khalaf added,
“We didn’t agree with it, with somebody who was a man for so long, who has different hormones, different feelings. It is not fair and we asked the IWF how come she can compete after only one year of showing her (testosterone) levels. But everybody was friendly with her in the competition.”
However, Lauren Hubbard has met all regulations of International Olympic Committee; that’s why she is allowed to compete.
Another good news for Hubbard’s supporters is that last month, she qualified to compete in the upcoming Commonwealth Games. The said event will be held in Gold Coast, Australia in April 2018. She is the first transgender from New Zealand to ever qualify for the games.