Weightlifter Hubbard chases gold under global spotlight

12:24 pm on 9 April 2018

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard competes at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for the first time today - and international media will be playing close attention.

Laurel Hubbard.

Laurel Hubbard. Photo: Photosport

The 40-year-old became the first transgender athlete to be named in a New Zealand Commonwealth Games team late last year.

While the enormity of a multisport event like the Commonwealth Games is new, Hubbard has competed on the world stage before - she placed second in her category at the world championships last year.

Weightlifting high-performance director Simon Kent said the attention would not faze Hubbard.

"We're talking about a forty-year-old who's pretty comfortable with how she can prepare, and that routine, so very comfortable to just trust that.

"Yes there will be some interest but ... she's a potential gold medallist, so that's what the interest needs to be around."

Hubbard has not spoken to media on the Gold Coast, and Kent said the topic was much wider than just Hubbard.

"This is around how does sport, how does society as a whole start to have this conversation?" he said.

"The IOC, the IWF are working through that, but at the moment these are the regulations and this is the sandpit we're playing in."

Some countries have expressed their discomfort with Hubbard competing, but Kent said it was not about just one individual.

"How does sport recognise and embrace a completely inclusive and diverse playing field?"

"[Hubbard] is very much part of our team ... she's one of 12, and that's how we manage it."