First transgender Olympic athlete fails in weightlifting

Laurel Hubbard fails her third snatch attempt at 125kg (Screenshot from Twitter video below)

Tokyo — New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender athlete at the Olympics, was eliminated on Monday in the women’s +87 kilogram competition after the snatch section.

The 43-year-old, who was born as and competed as a man before transitioning in 2012, failed with her first snatch attempt at 120 and her second and third at 125.

That meant she was the only lifter not to qualify for the clean and jerk section of the competition.

“My performance wasn’t what I had hoped but I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from so many people around New Zealand. I am aware that my participation has been controversial,” she was quoted as saying by the New Zealand Olympic Committee.

“Thank you to the IOC [ Internationa Olympic Committee] for living up to the Olympic values and showing that sport is for all and that weightlifting can be done by all types of people. Thank you also to Japan for hosting an extraordinary Games.”

Ahead of Hubbard competing, the IOC had sought to play down worries that women’s sport would become unfair if transgender athletes continue to be eligible to compete.

Richard Budgett, director of the IOC’s medical and scientific department, said the threat to women’s sport from transgender athletes was “overstated” but acknowledged different rules for different sports and events might be necessary.

The gold medal went to China’s Li Wenwen with Olympic records in the snatch (140kg), clean and jerk (180kg) and total score (320kg).

Emily Campbell claimed silver to become the first ever British woman weightlifter to medal at an Olympics.

American Sara Robles took a second consecutive bronze after Rio 2016.

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