Controversy as Transgender Athlete Wins Women's Weightlifting Competition

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Controversy as Transgender Athlete Wins Women's Weightlifting Competition

A transgender weightlifter who transitioned from male to female caused outrage after he won a female competition Sunday.

Her combined total of 268kg was almost 20kg better than Samoan runner-up Iuniarra Sipaia, with another 20kg back to the next lifter in the field.

Hubbard's emergence forced Rio Olympic lifter Tracey Lambrechs - a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist - to lose weight and compete in a lower division.

Transgender Kiwi weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's worldwide debut has been dubbed a major hit by an Australian official who believes she is a fantastic role model. "We all deserve to be on an even playing field", said Deborah Acason.

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand says it has followed the policy of the International Olympic Committee and the world weightlifting governing body in allowing Hubbard to compete in the women's division. "It's hard when you believe that you're not". "We've got two categories here, it's been great that women can do the sport of weightlifting ... but I think we need to look at a decision where we can give people in this situation, have a category where everyone can compete on an even playing field".

"She is who she is".

A prominent sportswriter, Phil Gifford, meanwhile, defended Hubbard, saying the athlete had every right to compete in the women's category after passing hormone regulations. "And Lauren has passed all of those tests over the last 12 months", he told a New Zealand news program.

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