Commonwealth Games: Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard set to compete

Laurel Hubbard
Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard won two silvers at last year's World Championships
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with extra streams on Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online. Times and channels

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is favourite to win +90kg gold at the Commonwealth Games, after unsuccessful calls for her to be banned.

Critics claim the 40-year-old New Zealander, who lived as Gavin Hubbard until 2014 and competed internationally as a man, has an unfair advantage.

She won two world silvers in 2017 after being cleared to compete as a woman by the International Olympic Committee.

"Not everyone supports me or accepts me but there are people who do," she said.

The New Zealander - the oldest of the 207 weightlifters at the Games - became eligible to compete as a woman after showing testosterone levels below the threshold required by the IOC.

Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive Michael Keelan protested against the Kiwi's right to compete at the Commonwealth Games.

"Ultimately, it is our strong view that weightlifting has always been a gender-specific sport, male and female, not a competition among individuals of various levels of testosterone," Keelan wrote.

Hubbard said: "To anyone who questions my involvement I would say I didn't win (at the World Championships). If people think I have an overwhelming advantage, I think they should look at it in that light."

Hubbard travelled to Australia later than the rest of the New Zealand weightlifting team.

"She's quite an introverted character," Weightlifting New Zealand high performance director Simon Kent said. "Laurel is Laurel. We want to keep things as normal as we can.

"She is very comfortable with who she is and she is participating in a sport she loves. At 40 years of age, this is her last chance to do it on this sort of stage and we're fully supportive of that."

Hubbard won last year's Commonwealth Championships on the Gold Coast, setting a Commonwealth record in the process.

Samoan teenager Feagaiga Stowers, England's Emily Campbell, who was fourth at the Commonwealth Championships, and Australia's Deborah Acason will be her main challengers.

The competition gets under way at 05:00 BST on Monday, at the Carrara Sports Arena.

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