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​Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Withdraws From Commonwealth Games After Elbow Injury

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​Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Withdraws From Commonwealth Games After Elbow Injury

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been forced to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games after suffering a pretty grisly elbow injury while competing.

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

The 40-year-old New Zealand athlete was injured while competing in the women's 90kg-plus category on Monday afternoon, which took place at the Carrara Sports Arena on the Gold Coast in Australia.

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Hubbard had been a favourite to not only win, but also possibly break records. She had managed to lift 120kg in her first attempt, missed at 127kg for her second, and raised the weight another 5kg to 132kg, hoping to break her personal best of 131kg.

However, Hubbard's efforts were cut short when her elbow gave way, and she was forced to withdraw.

The transgender weightlifter has recently faced criticism from people who feel that she should not compete in the women's category.

Samoa head coach, Jerry Wallwork, is among her critics - having said that it is unfair on other competitors, and that other athletes have been left 'disheartened'.

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"A man is a man and a woman is a woman and I know a lot of changes have gone through, but in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter," he told the ABC.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

While no countries have lodged an official objection, some have spoken up about objecting in principle.

Simon Molombe, a spokesperson for the Cameroon team, said: "I'm of the opinion that her past has an influence on her present output, and gives her an edge over others.

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"I therefore see it as playing without a level ground."

The Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, David Grevemberg, has said that Hubbard had passed requirements.

But athlete and transgender activist Kirsti Miller has said that these requirements can 'harm the health of transitioned athletes like myself, and harm the health of XX transition males'.

"We all transition at a different rate, and a big factor that plays a part in that is your age," she said.

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"Twelve months as a policy for everyone is just the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life."

Grevemberg added that there needed to be more discussion within the weightlifting community about the eligibility of transgender competitors.

"This is something that members have expressed various opinions on and it's something that the weightlifting community needs to come together and have some robust debate, discussion, on," he said.

"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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Weightlifting

Jess Hardiman
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