Hubbard back in NZ squad

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Queenstown transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard will represent New Zealand again, nearly a year after a horror injury.

She’s been named in the national squad to compete at the Arafura Games in Darwin at the end of April.

It’ll be Hubbard’s first international competition since last April’s Commonwealth Games, where she twisted and injured her left elbow in her final snatch attempt.

She was seeking a Commonwealth Games record of 132kg.

At the time, Hubbard believed the injury would spell the end of her professional career.

She told fans at the NZ team base at the Games that her arm was “busted”.

“It looks like it’s probably going to be a career-ending injury, which is a real shame.

“But I’m glad I’ve gone out trying to achieve my best on the platform.”

Her presence at the Games was controversial, with questions raised about whether she had an unfair advantage over other athletes.

She had competed at a national level as a man before transitioning in her mid-30s.

She complies with regulations on transgender athletes laid down by the International Weightlifting Federation and the International Olympic Committee.

Hubbard didn’t respond to a request for comment this week.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz