Laurel Hubbard, a kiwi weightlifter is all set to make history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first transgender athlete to compete at the Games.
As per reports, under the new qualification rules, which came into effect after several competitions were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hubbard will be guaranteed a spot in Tokyo if fit.
While she will be the oldest weightlifter at the Games, she will also be a genuine medal hopeful with her qualifying lifts ranking her at fourth out of the 14 qualifiers in the 87kg-plus category.
New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) in a statement said,
“The New Zealand Team has a strong culture of manaaki and inclusion and respect for all. We look forward to supporting all athletes selected to the New Zealand Team in Tokyo 2020.”
Competing before her gender transition under the name Gavin Hubbard, Hubbard set New Zealand junior records in 1998 in the newly established M105+ division with snatch 135 kg, clean & jerk 170 kg, total 300 kg.
In 2012 Hubbard was appointed to the position of Executive Officer for Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand.
Subsequently, she transitioned to female and became Laurel Hubbard.
At the 2017 Australian International and Australian Open in Melbourne, she competed at the heaviest 90 kg+ categories, winning the gold medal with a 123 kg snatch and 145 kg clean & jerk, for a total of 268 kg at a bodyweight of 131.83 kg.
In 2020 she won the gold medal in the women’s +87 kg event at the Roma 2020 World Cup in Rome, Italy.