'We deserve to be on an even playing field' - Weightlifting Australia apprehensive about NZ transgender athlete's inclusion in event

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has made history as the first transgender athlete to represent New Zealand, though she has encountered resistance about her inclusion in a competition she won yesterday.

Laurel Hubbard, who won her division by 19 kilos, has been defended by Weightlifting NZ saying they're following guidelines. Source: 1 NEWS

Hubbard, born the son of former Auckland Mayor Dick Hubbard, claimed the women's over 90kg division yesterday, beating her nearest rival by a whopping 19 kilograms at the Australian International competition in Melbourne.

Deborah Acason from the Australian Weightlifting Federation said she was apprehensive about Hubbard's inclusion into the Australian competition.

"It's difficult when you don't believe you're in that situation and being in an even playing field," she said.

Top sportswriter Phil Gifford doesn't hold back on the topic of a Kiwi transgender athlete who won a weightlifting comp in Australia. Source: Breakfast

When asked if she believed the future eligibility of Hubbard in the sport, she said that alternatives to how the sport deals with transgender sportspeople needed to be looked at.

Laurel Hubbard set new national records in the snatch and clean and jerk, beating her nearest competitor in Melbourne by 19 kilos. Source: 1 NEWS

Laurel Hubbard will compete in the women's over 90kg group, despite raging debate about her participation. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've got two categories here, it's been great that women can do the sport of weightlifting...but I think we need to look at a decision where we can give people in this situation have a category where everyone can compete on an even playing field."

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand says it has followed the policy of the International Olympic Committee and the world weightlifting governing body in allowing Hubbard to compete in the women's division.

The IOC acknowledges athletes as male or female, with no categorisation as transgender.