'Busted' elbow could end Laurel Hubbard's weight-lifting career

4:53 pm on 10 April 2018

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's injury to her elbow from yesterday's Commonwealth Games final could be career-ending, she says.

Hubbard badly hurt her elbow during her attempt to lift 132kg in the women's +90kg final on the Gold Coast and had to withdraw from the competition.

Hubbard, who is transgender, had attracted some controversy for her inclusion in the event.

Today she said she had seen medical staff and her arm was "busted".

"It could be career-ending."

Of her decision to lift the heavier weight she said: "You can't just phone it in."

Coach Simon Kent said Hubbard had completely ruptured a ligament.

"It's going to need surgery and obviously elbows are a pretty integral part of our sport, so at 40 years of age it's going to be tough," he said.

"That'll be Laurel's decision whether in six or 12 months' time - does she pull the pin, or does she come back again?"

New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard.
Weightlifting, Women's +90kg 2018. Carrara Sports Hall. Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia. Monday 9 April 2018. © Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

Photo: © Copyright Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz Photosport Ltd 2018

He had been impressed by her attitude at the Games.

"I was out back with her and my gut was to not go for the heavier weight, but she looked me in the eye and said, 'No no no, I want the 132,' and I wasn't going to say no to her.

"I love the way she just wanted to come and not just to turn up, but actually test herself."

It was not the wrong decision, despite the outcome, Kent said.

"It's sport - you can't make decisions based on what ifs. Laurel's done 131 before, so I didn't put it on thinking this could be injury potential."

Hubbard had been "really buoyed" by the crowd's reaction to her first lift, he said.

"That really energised her and gave her the confidence to want to go out there and try a record."

She had taken both the injury and the reaction to her inclusion in her stride, Kent said.

"It's a hugely complex issue but as the current legislation stands … those are the rules.

"People are entitled to their opinion but at the end of the day I think she's pretty courageous for what she's been doing."

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