- Covid-amended rules mean qualification effectively ensured
- New Zealander to become first transgender Olympic athlete
By Sean Ingle | 5 May 2021
THE GUARDIAN — History and controversy is expected to be made at the Tokyo Olympics this summer after the transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was effectively guaranteed a place in the women’s super heavyweight category.
While the 43-year-old has not yet been named in the New Zealand team, an International Weightlifting Federation insider confirmed to the Guardian that she would automatically qualify because of amended rules approved by the International Olympic Committee.
The insider said that while teams did not have to be named until 5 July, under the new qualification rules, which had come into effect after several competitions were lost because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hubbard was sure of a place in Tokyo if fit.
It means Hubbard, who won silver at the 2017 world championships and was sixth after a severe injury in 2019, is almost certain to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics. And while she will be the oldest weightlifter at the Games, she will also have a genuine chance of a medal given her qualifying lifts rank her fourth out of the 14 qualifiers in the 87kg-plus super heavyweight category for Tokyo. […]