WEIGHTLIFTER Laurel Hubbard has made history as the first trans athlete to represent New Zealand in the Australian International in Melbourne.
Hubbard won the women’s over 90 kg division, taking out the competition by lifting a combined total of 268 kg—19 kg more than silver medallist Iuniarra Sipaia of Samoa.
Hubbard had encountered resistance about her inclusion in the competition.
Deborah Acason of the Australian Weightlifting Federation previously expressed concerns about trans people participating in the sport, saying alternatives needed to be explored.
“We’ve got two categories here,” she said. “It’s been great that women can do the sport of weightlifting… but I think we need to look at a decision where we can give people in this situation a category where everyone can compete on an even playing field.”
Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand said allowing Hubbard to compete in the women’s division is in accordance with the policies of the International Olympic Committee and the world weightlifting governing body.
Hubbard’s win is expected to go a long way towards securing her a place in the Commonwealth Games team for next year.