24 Nov 2017

History to be made by NZ weightlifting team in Gold Coast

12:32 pm on 24 November 2017

A trans athlete has been named in the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team for the first time.

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard

New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard Photo: Supplied: Australian Weightlifying Federation.

Laurel Hubbard is one of 12 athletes confirmed on Friday in the weightlifting group for next year's event on the Gold Coast.

Hubbard will compete in the women's 90-plus kilogram division, a category which has only been operating since the start of this year.

The daughter of former Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard, it is believed the 39-year-old is the first trans athlete to represent New Zealand in sport when she competed in an international event in Melbourne in March.

The International Olympic Committee does not recognise a trans category, only male or female.

Also part of the New Zealand team for April's Games are Glasgow 2014 gold medal winner Richie Patterson (-85kg), silver medal winner Stanislav Chalaev (-105kg) and bronze medal winner Tracey Lambrechs (now contesting -90kg).

Patterson will become the first weightlifter to represent New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games.

Also in the women's team are Aletha Boon (-58kg) and Andrea Miller (-69kg), who have previously competed at Commonwealth Games in different sporting codes.

Boon represented New Zealand at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 and Manchester 2002 Commonwealth Games in gymnastics, while Miller won a bronze medal in hurdles at Delhi 2010.

Rounding out the women's team is Phillipa Patterson (-53kg) and Bailey Rogers (-75kg) and Laurel Hubbard (+90kg).

Joining Patterson and Chalaev in the men's team are games debutants Vester Villalon (-69kg), Cameron McTaggart (-77kg) and David Liti (+105kg).

Ianne Guinares (-62kg) returns for another Commonwealth Games after placing 12th in Glasgow.

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand high performance manager Simon Kent says the athletes can now focus on being at their best for Gold Coast 2018.

"There's been a lot of hard work to get to this point and now these athletes can really work towards the games.

"We're going to Gold Coast 2018 to compete at the top level and we want to bring back more medals than we did in Glasgow."

New Zealand has won 39 weightlifting medals at the Commonwealth Games.

The weightlifting selection brings the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team size to 25 athletes across four sports.

NZ weightlifting team for Gold Coast Commonwealth Games:

Women: Phillipa Patterson -53kg, Alethea Boon -58kg, Andrea Miller -69kg, Bailey Rogers -75kg, Tracey Lambrechs -90kg, Laurel Hubbard +90kg

Men: Ianne Ernesto Guinares -62kg, Vester Villalon -69kg, Cameron McTaggart -77kg, Richard Patterson -85kg, Stanislav Chalaev -105kg, David Liti +105kg

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