Laurel Hubbard has forged another place in the New Zealand sports history books after winning two silver medals at the weightlifting world championships.

Transgender athlete Hubbard finished runner-up in the snatch and overall categories in the women's 90kg-plus division at Anaheim in California

She is the first Kiwi to win a medal at the world championships. Her best weight of 124kg in the snatch was only beaten by American Olympic bronze medallist Sarah Robles, who was successful at 126kg.

Hubbard had a shot at gold when attempting 127kg but she failed to lift the bar completely above her head, expressing disappointment at falling short of her personal best 131kg set last year.


She finished fourth in the clean and jerk with a best effort of 151kg to finish with a combined total of 275kg, nine kgs short of gold.

Last month, Hubbard became the first New Zealand transgender athlete to qualify for the Commonwealth Games.

A former top male lifter, Hubbard has attracted international headlines and conjecture since making the decision to compete as a woman, something she is entitled to do under International Weightlifting Federation and International Olympic Committee rules.

Read more: Weightlifting: Laurel Hubbard poised for NZ first

Her rivals have expressed unease at a perceived advantage, an argument echoed by the Australian Weightlifting Federation after the Commonwealth Games selection was confirmed.

AWF chief executive Michael Keelan said Hubbard's inclusion in the women's open class would create an "uneven playing field" on the Gold Coast.

"We're in a power sport which is normally related to masculine tendencies ... where you've got that aggression, you've got the right hormones, then you can lift bigger weights," he said.

"If you've been a male and you've lifted certain weights, then you suddenly transition to a female, psychologically you know you've lifted those weights before."


Hubbard had to demonstrate her testosterone levels were below a certain threshold for 12 months before representing New Zealand.