Transgender weightlifter suffers gruesome elbow injury


Kiwi transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has been forced to withdraw from the women's 90kg-plus class after suffering a sickening elbow injury.

Hubbard, who has been mired in controversy since her selection on New Zealand's team in November, was in the box seat to win gold before the disastrous mishap.

CAREER-ENDER: Hubbard concedes weightlifting days all but over

The red-hot favourite made light work of nearest rival Feagaiga Stowers of Samoa in the snatch section on Monday but hurt her elbow attempting a Games-record 132kg on her final attempt.

Hubbard's elbow buckled gruesomely as she attempted the huge lift, although the 40-year-old looks to have avoided dislocating the joint.

Not nice to see. Image: Getty

"At this stage we don't know the exact details of the injury," Hubbard said afterwards.

"It seems likely that I have ruptured a ligament.

"The one saving grace in all of this is that I'm not in any great pain at the moment. I'm sure that will come with time.

"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."

Hubbard was in a world of pain. Image: Getty

Hubbard, who previously lifted as Gavin Hubbard, won two world silvers last year after being cleared to compete as a woman by the International Olympic Committee, having recorded testosterone levels below the required threshold.

Stowers went on to win gold in the 90kg-plus category, while Australia's Kaitlyn Fassina won silver in the 90kg category.

While Hubbard has remained silent amid her controversial participation, her critics have circled.

Only on Sunday Samoan weightlifting head coach Jerry Wallwork firmly opposed her competing at the Games.

"A man is a man and a woman is a woman," Wallwork told the ABC.

"And I know a lot of changes have gone through, but in the past Laurel Hubbard used to be a male champion weightlifter."

Hubbard admitted to some anxiety about how she would be received.

"It would be untrue to say that the thought never crossed my mind," she said.

"But there was no indication at all today they were anything other than absolutely fantastic, so a real credit to the Australian people and also the broader sporting community."

Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said while Hubbard is eligible to compete under international weightlifting guidelines, it is clearly an issue that needs further discussion.

"This is something that members have expressed various opinions on and it's something that the weightlifting community needs to come together and have some robust debate, discussion, on," Mr Grevemberg said.

"Team New Zealand has done a tremendous amount of effort and work to promote the opportunity that the athlete has to compete ... recognising some of the contentious behaviour around this and discourse that's been created (Team NZ) has also looked to respect and protect the athlete in this environment."

with AAP