Feagaia Stowers in tears after winning Samoa’s second Gold in weightlifting
MONDAY 09 APRIL 2018: Samoa’s powerhouse Feagaiga Stowers has pushed Samoa’s Gold tally to two at the Commonwealth Games this afternoon in the Women’s 90+kg class.
Stowers was set to settle for Silver when the hot favourite, 40-year-old transgender New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard withdrew from the women’s 90kg-plus category when she appeared to twist her left elbow in her final snatch attempt and left the stage in obvious discomfort.
She had been going for a Commonwealth Games record of 132kg.
Hubbard opened her account in the snatch at 120kg, with only Feagaiga Stowers still lifting.
The Samoan failed her third and final lift at the weight, which Hubbard cleared on her first attempt in the snatch.
The Kiwi missed at 127kg, then upped the ante with an attempt to break her own record with 132.
She couldn’t hold the lift and twisted her arm in the attempt.
Hubbard’s presence at the Games has triggered controversy, with Samoa’s Coach and Weightlifting Federation President Tuaopepe Jerry Wallwork claiming she holds an unfair advantage having competed at national level as a man before transitioning in her mid-30s.
Samoa earlier won its first Gold at the Gold Coast through weightlifter Sanele Mao when he hauled a combined 360kg in the men’s 105kg class. Samoas medal haul at the Commonwealth Games started by the 18 year old college student Don Opeloge’s silver at 85kg.
The 32-year-old Sanele Mao stepped up to the 105kg category after competing in the 94kg category in Glasgow. He won silver at the 2016 Oceania Weightlifting Championships.