Hubbard vs Stowers: Samoa outcome was an upset, not an unfair domination

The competitive weightlifting history of both Feagaiga Stowers and Laurel Hubbard would suggest last week’s result at the four-in-one International Weightlifting Championships was down to Stowers poor form or bad luck on the day, rather than any inherent advantage held by Hubbard.

The current Junior World Champion Stowers is ranked eighth in the world in the +87 kg women category, well above any other Oceania or Commonwealth athlete, including Hubbard.

Last month at the Junior World Championships in Suva she lifted 124 kg in the snatch and 151 kg in the clean and jerk for a 275 kg total to give her this ranking.

Laurel Hubbard’s best performance this year was last week at the combined Pacific Games, Oceania Championships and Commonwealth Championships where she managed 125 kg in the snatch and 143 kg in the clean and jerk for a 268 kg total, seven kgs adrift of Stowers’ best.

In fact the 41-year-old Hubbard’s best ever result when representing New Zealand in the women’s weightlifting division is a 124 kg snatch, 151 kg clean and jerk, and 275 kg total at the 2017 World Championships, when she was younger and theoretically closer to her athletic prime.

That exactly equals the 18-year-old Stowers’ best ever performance, and it is fair to assume the pair’s individual careers are on opposite trajectories given their respective ages.

It is likely that last week’s upset result is the last and only time Hubbard ever beats Stowers in international competition, and thus any notion that the competition was unfair appears wide of the mark.

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