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Transgender lifter Hubbard retires after Olympic debut
[Obrazek: c1_4049579.jpg]

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard has announced she will retire in the wake of her groundbreaking appearance at the Tokyo Olympics this week.

The New Zealander on Monday contested the +87kg category weightlifting, in a debut the International Olympic Committee (IOC) described as the first appearance by an openly transgender superslot  woman at an Olympics.

While her appearance on sport's biggest stage was short-lived -- an "overwhelmed" Hubbard failed to complete a successful lift -- it was hailed by trans activists as a historic occasion for a marginalised community.

It also sparked a firestorm of debate about transgender participation in women's sport.

The intensely private Hubbard said she was now ready to step away from the spotlight.

"Age has caught up with me. In fact if we're being honest it probably caught up with me some time ago," said Hubbard, who at 43 was more than 20 years older than most of her rivals.

"My involvement in sport is probably due, if nothing else, to heroic amounts of anti-inflammatories, and it's probably time for me to start thinking about hanging up the boots and concentrating on other things in my life."

Hubbard praised the IOC for showing "moral leadership" in adopting inclusive polices that allowed her to participate at the Games.

"I'm not sure that a role model is something I could ever aspire to be, instead I hope that just by being I can provide some sense of encouragement," she told reporters.

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