Sports

Transgender Weightlifter Scores Medals At World Championships

Transgender Weightlifter Scores Medals At World Championships

ANAHEIM, California: A transgender weightlifter from New Zealand and an Iranian returning from an eight-year doping ban both won silver medals at the World Championships on the final day, which also witnessed two world records for Georgian Lasha Talakhadze.

Hubbard competed as a woman at the World Masters Games in Auckland, New Zealand, in April and also became the first transgender to represent New Zealand in a weightlifting competition at the 2017 Australasian Championships in March, where Hubbard won gold.

Hubbard complies with the conditions put in place by the International Olympic Committee, whose procedures on transgender athletes are followed by the International Weightlifting Federation.

Tim Swords, the coach of world champion Sarah Robles, says he wasn't surprised Hubbard continued her policy of not speaking to media in the wake of her twin silvers.

Tracey Lambrechs, who lost her place as New Zealand's top super-heavyweight when Hubbard started competing, shed 37 pounds to move down to the 198 pound class and qualify for the Commonwealth Games with one national team place available in each category.

Hubbard competes in Anaheim. Swords said that there was no controversy between the lifters about Hubbard's presence in the game, but there was between some of the coaching team members, and Hubbard was abused on social media before the IWF.

Robles totalled 284kg, to head off Hubbard (275kg) and Egyptian bronze medallist Shaimaa Khalaf (268kg).

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In population, we come after China but in medal tally, we always lag behind. "There is a problem in our sports system". It's only in our country that the sportsmen travel in economy class and the people taking them fly business class.

"She has said she does not want to take the focus away from other athletes", said IWF director general Attila Adamfi.

He is now gearing up to compete as a female at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

There is still widespread unease among the weight lighting community that he has an unfair advantage over his biologically female opponents.

Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive, Michael Keelan, told the Australian Associated Press last week: "We're in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies".

"I personally don't think it's a level playing field".

"I'm a glass half full man so I see the positivity that this is wider than sport, this brings to the forefront of what does it look like to be a genuinely diverse and inclusive society, getting people taking about something that potentially wouldn't be at the forefront of discussion so overall I think its a positive thing".


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