Transgender Kiwi weightlifter Laurel Hubbard's international debut has been dubbed a major hit by an Australian official who believes she is a fantastic role model.

Michael Keelan, the Australian Weightlifting Federation chief executive, was in awe of Hubbard after she won the 90kg+ division in Melbourne.

Keelan said it will be "interesting" what the reception towards her will be after her win in an international contest at Hawthorn.

"The fact that she's performed pretty well under a lot of pressure, with all eyes on her, it's a credit to her," Keelan said.


"It'll be interesting to see how much support she gets from the community, but I would think she's on the cusp of creating a lot of history.

"And she could be a great role model for others to follow." reported that Hubbard, formerly Gavin, had to demonstrate that her testosterone levels were below a certain threshold for 12 months before competing.

"But she will also have to - fairly or unfairly - deal with whispers of discontent around her perceived physical advantages," they reported, adding the crowd reception for her was fairly standard.

The 39-year-old Hubbard avoided media comment afterwards, with a team mate saying she was "quite overwhelmed".

Hubbard's first attempt at the snatch failed but she eventually lifted 123kg, a 14kg lead over Iuniarra Sipaia of Samoa. Her clean and jerk total of 145kg gave her a 19kg win over the second placed Samoan. Hubbard went into the contest weighing 131kg, 9kg more than Sipaia.

Hubbard, the daughter of muesli king and former Auckland mayor Dick Hubbard, has met all the New Zealand Olympic Weightlifting protocols and is a top prospect for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year.