NZ transgender weightlifter wins medal

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard from New Zealand in action at the world titles

A transgender weightlifter from New Zealand and an Iranian returning from an eight-year doping ban both won silver medals at the World Championships on the final day.

Laurel Hubbard, 39, who lived as Gavin Hubbard until four years ago and competed at national level as a man, finished second in the women's super-heavyweights behind Sarah Robles, who became the first American to win gold at the world championships in 23 years.

Robles totalled 284 kilograms ahead of Hubbard, who lifted 275kg, and Egyptian Shaimaa Khalaf on 268kg.

Hubbard declined to discuss her achievement and refused to attend media conferences.

"She stayed away because she was embarrassed, probably," said her coach Tim Swords.

Hubbard complies with regulations on transgender athletes laid down by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), whose guidelines are followed by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF).

Many rivals, however, feel she has an unfair advantage.

"There was no controversy between the lifters about her presence here, but there was between some of the coaching staffs ... nobody wanted her to win," Swords said.

Mohamed Hosnytaha, coach of bronze medallist Khalaf, and of Egypt's national team, said: "We didn't agree with it, with somebody who was a man for so long, who has different hormones, different feelings."

Georgia's Lasha Talakhadze won the men's super-heavyweights with a total of 477kg, improving his own world record by 4kg.

He also broke his own snatch world record by 3kg when he lifted 220kg.

Iran's Saeed Alihosseini was second in his comeback.

The 29-year-old was originally banned for life for doping but successfully appealed and the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the suspension to eight years.