Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's elbow surgery has been a success, but she is likely to wait until at least October before deciding on her future in the sport.

Hubbard suffered ruptured ligaments in her left elbow at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games when she attempted to clear a snatch of 132kg in the women's 90kg-plus class.

A successful lift would have broken her Commonwealth record by 1kg. Instead, the agonising result triggered her departure from the competition.

Olympic Weightlifting New Zealand high performance director Simon Kent confirmed Hubbard must now rehabilitate for what's expected to be six to nine months before seeing what effect the injury and subsequent surgery has on her career.


The 40-year-old transgender athlete cleared her first attempt of 120kg at the Games, but failed with her second at 127kg.

The 17-year-old Samoan Feagaiga Stowers eventually took the title.

Hubbard spoke to Kiwi fans who gathered at New Zealand house – aka the QT Hotel - the day after competition.

She deadpanned that the medical team had diagnosed her arm as "busted" which drew wry laughter from the audience.

"It looks like it will be a career-ending injury, which is a real shame, but I'm glad I've gone out trying to achieve my best on the platform because, as the [New Zealand team] slogan says 'you have to earn the fern'."

Hubbard's case as a transgender athlete, who had previously competed as a male, generated debate ahead of the Games.

Post-competition she was asked if she had been treated with respect and inclusivity at the event, whose mantra was "humanity, equality, destiny".

"Without any doubt I can say that's exactly what they have done.

"The Commonwealth Games are a model for what sport can and should be. It's an incredible environment and an amazing atmosphere."

Hubbard claimed New Zealand's first medals at a weightlifting world championships with silvers in the snatch and combined at Anaheim in December.

The International Weightlifting Federation worked within the International Olympic Committee rules in which she was eligible.

She had to demonstrate that her testosterone levels were below a certain threshold for 12 months before competing for New Zealand.