Transgender weightlifter sparks debate over competition fairness

Tom Walsh salutes the crowd after throwing a Commonwealth Games record with his first throw

Controversial transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard withdraws from the Commonwealth Games with a gruesome elbow injury

Laurel Hubbard, 40, was in obvious distress when her left elbow gave way attempting to snatch a Games-record 132kg, when she was already leading the competition with 120kg.

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

But Hubbard has received widespread support - both from the locals that warmly applauded her entry onto the weightlifting floor, to several Kiwi sporting personalities calling for her to carry the New Zealand flag during next Sunday's closing ceremony.

There had been much debate over whether the two-time world silver medalist should have been allowed to participate, with critics claiming an athlete who had previously represented her country as a man had an unfair advantage.

Hubbard's inclusion in the competition flipped the ladies's over-90kg type in to a few of the most discussed events in the guide up to the Gold Coast video games.

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

In an interview, Hubbard said she just wants to show she is no different.

Before transitioning, Hubbard was a national junior record-holder in the male 230lb weight class.

New Zealand director Simon Kent added: "She's quite an introverted character".

"I hope all New Zealanders. would get behind one of their athletes that has gone through the pathway to achieve greatness, and within the rules of the sport", Grevemberg told reporters.

Stowers has only been lifting for around three years, and this was her first major global competition.

"At this stage we don't know the exact details of the injury - it seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament or... some fairly significant tissue damage, but until we have further scanning we won't know the details or extent of the injury", Hubbard said, New Zealand news site Stuff reported.

"We can always go back and rerun these things in our heads, but the truth is, unless we try to be the best person, the best athlete we can be, then really we're not being true to sport".

Australian Weightlifting Federation CEO Michael Keelan wrote to the IWF and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in an attempt to have Hubbard banned.

Hubbard had the backing of the governing body to compete at the Commonwealth Games, amid protest.

In Hubbard's absence, Stowers won the gold with a total of 253, followed by Charisma Amoe-Tarrant of Nauru (243) and Emily Campbell of England (242).

She was proud to have made history.

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