Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard named in New Zealand team

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been named to represent New Zealand.
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Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been named to represent New Zealand.

The selection of a transgender woman for the New Zealand weightlifting team is understood to be a first for New Zealand sport.

Laurel Hubbard will represent her country in the 90kg+ women's category at this month's Australian international weightlifting event and is in line for selection for the NZ team for next year's Commonwealth Games.

The selection of the 39-year-old daughter of former Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard should see last year's Olympic Games representative Tracey Lambrechs drop down a weight class and president of Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand, Garry Marshall, told NZME the organisation is following International Olympic Committee and International Weightlifting Federation policies.

"They do not acknowledge in any way the gender identity of an athlete other than male or female; they're not described as transgender," Marshall told NZME.

The New Zealand Olympic Committee will follow suit when considering Hubbard's possible selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Marshall said he believed Hubbard had "huge advantages" over her rivals.

"She competed for a long time as a man and her efforts were very strong. That strength has remained with her despite reduced testosterone.

"That point is not recognised by the science and some of our competitors would say that's not fair."

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