NewsTalk ZB 24 November 2017
Family First Comment: It was always going to end in tears…
Australia’s weightlifting chief says New Zealand’s selection of transgender athlete Laurel Hubbard will create an uneven playing field at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Hubbard, who will compete in the 90kg-plus division on the Gold Coast, will be the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at a Commonwealth Games.
As Gavin Hubbard, the 39-year-old was a national junior record-holder in the male 105kg class before she transitioned into a woman in her mid-30s.
Rival athletes complained that she had an unfair advantage after she won gold at the Australian Open this year, lifting 123 kilos in the snatch and 145 kilos in the clean and jerk.
Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive Michael Keelan on Friday claimed Hubbard would have both a physiological and mental edge over her rivals.
“We’re in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies … where you’ve got that aggression, you’ve got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights,” he told AAP.
READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/national/backlash-from-australia-against-transgender-weightlifter/
Teammate unhappy with inclusion of transgender athlete in NZ team
Radio NZ News 24 November 2017
The selection of transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard for the Commonwealth Games doesn’t sit well with one of her teammates.
Hubbard, 39, is the first transgender sportsperson to represent New Zealand.
She was cleared by the International Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation to compete against other female lifters.
Hubbard, who will compete in the 90kg class, became the first transgender athlete to win an international weightlifting title for New Zealand in Australia earlier this year but her victory didn’t go down well with rivals who said she had an unfair advantage having previously competed as a man.
Earlier in her career she was a national junior record-holder in the male 105kg class before she transitioned in her mid-30s.
Tracey Lambrechs, who won a bronze medal at the Glasgow Games, has been forced to drop down a class with the arrival of Hubbard on the women’s weight lifting scene and Lambrechs was also uncomfortable with Hubbard being able to compete.
“I feel there is an unfair advantage even though it is within all the regulations… all I can hope is that they look into it and make a more educated judgement,” Lambrechs said.
Lambrechs is disappointed the selection of the 12-strong weighlifting team is being overshadowed by the inclusion of Hubbard, but accepts it is an unusual situation.
“I am glad that people can come out and live their lives and be happy but when it comes to a professional sporting environment it gets a bit trickier.
“[She] is lifting a lot more than what the other women are… so personally I do think there is an unfair advantage.”
Lambrechs was also concerned about the impact the international media attention could have on the team at the Games.
READ MORE: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/sport/344652/teammate-unhappy-with-inclusion-of-transgender-athlete-in-nz-team