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New Zealand name transgender lifter Laurel Hubbard in Commonwealth Games squad

Laurel Hubbard, 39, who was born Gavin and has previously competed as a male, will represent her country in the women’s over 90kg category at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) next year in Gold Coast

other sports Updated: Nov 24, 2017 11:19 IST
Laurel Hubbard,Commonwealth Games 2018,CWG 2018
Laurel Hubbard became the first transgender athlete to win an international weightlifting title for New Zealand at the Australian Open this year, lifting 123 kilos in the snatch and 145 kilos in the clean and jerk.(Twitter)

New Zealand selected its first transgender Commonwealth Games athlete on Friday when weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was named in the squad for next year’s edition in the Gold Coast.

Hubbard, 39, who was born Gavin and has previously competed as a male, will represent her country in the women’s over 90kg category, the New Zealand Olympic Committee said.

She became the first transgender athlete to win an international weightlifting title for New Zealand at the Australian Open this year, lifting 123 kilos in the snatch and 145 kilos in the clean and jerk.

Her win was contentious among rivals who said an athlete who had previously competed as a man had an unfair advantage.

As Gavin Hubbard, she was a New Zealand junior record-holder in the 105-kilo class and has had to meet strict criteria around testosterone levels to compete as a woman.

Officials said earlier this year that Hubbard had met International Olympic Committee (IOC) guidelines on transgender athletes.

These included recording a reduced level of testosterone in the 12 months leading up to her first competition.

Hubbard, who keeps a low public profile, has not commented on her groundbreaking selection.

First Published: Nov 24, 2017 11:03 IST