GOLD COAST, Australia (Reuters) – Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard withdrew midway through the Commonwealth Games tournament on Monday after suffering an arm injury, having led the standings after the snatch in the 90+kg division.
The New Zealander, whose participation was criticized as “unfair” by the Samoan team, lifted 120kg but injured her arm after attempting 132kg with her third effort.
“It seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament,” Hubbard, who had a 7kg advantage over Samoan Feagaiga Stowers heading into the clean and jerk component, told reporters.
“Until we have further scanning, we won’t know the details.
“I have no regrets about the attempts I made, because I believe that to be true to sport you really have to try to be the best that you can, and I’m happy with the decisions that were made.”
Hubbard’s withdrawal paved the way for Stowers to claim the gold with a combined total of 253kg, ahead of Nauruan lifter Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (243) and England’s Emily Campbell (242).
The 40-year-old New Zealander, who lived as Gavin Hubbard until four years ago and competed at national level as a man, finished second in the women’s super-heavyweights behind American Sarah Robles at the world championships in December.
Earlier on Monday, Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg called on her nation to support the lifter.
“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,” Grevemberg told reporters.
Hubbard said she was nervous about the crowd at the Carrara venue before the event but described their reception as “absolutely magnificent”.
“I feel just like (it was) a big embrace. I wanted to give them something that reflected the best I could do and my only real regret today was that I was unable to show them,” she said.
“It wouldn’t be true if I said I wasn’t unhappy at the moment but the nature of sport is that things don’t always go your way. It is what it is.
“I think you have to be true to yourself and I hope in this case, that’s what I have done.”