Commonwealth Games: Samoan coach hits out at transgender Kiwi Laurel Hubbard

  • 09/04/2018

Samoan weightlifting coach Jerry Wallwork has hit out at Kiwi lifter Laurel Hubbard ahead of this afternoon's women's over 90kg category competition on the Gold Coast.

Ms Hubbard is the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand at international level, and she is favourite to win gold this afternoon.

She represented New Zealand as Gavin Hubbard before she transitioned in her mid-30s and late last year, she was given the green light by the International Weightlifting Federation to compete in women's tournaments last year.

Wallwork has been a coach in the sport for 20 years, and he has been helping 18-year-old Feagaiga Stowers prepare for the over 90kg category.

Having trained both men and women during his career, Wallwork says Hubbard will have a massive advantage.

"It's my personal opinion that it's not fair having a transgender competing against women - especially a transgender who is a former champion male weightlifter," he told Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE. 

"Regardless of which country or which division, I feel it is unfair, and that is my opinion as a coach."

Wallwork has offered up a suggestion to make it fairer for competitors at future events.

"They should have their own division, to compete and be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games, at the Commonwealth Games.

"We want the women to have a fair chance as women. I have nothing against transgender; I have good mates who are.

"I'm just against them competing against women professionally."

 The women's over 90kg weightlifting starts at 4pm (NZ time).