New Zealand

Sarah Robles
USA Weightlifting

U.S. ends world weightlifting title drought; transgender lifter gets silver

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Sarah Robles, who in Rio earned the first U.S. Olympic weightlifting medal since 2000 (super heavyweight bronze), on Tuesday became the first American to win a world title since 1994.

The 29-year-old lifted two fewer kilograms than she did in Rio — a total of 626 pounds between the snatch and the clean and jerk in Anaheim, Calif.

The last American to win a world title was Robin Byrd in 1994.

New Zealand’s Laurel Hubbard took silver with 606 total pounds, the first-ever world medal for her country.

Hubbard, 39, previously competed in men’s weightlifting as Gavin Hubbard, according to Reuters, which reported that Hubbard continued to decline interviews Tuesday, as she has for much of this year.

“She stayed away because she was embarrassed, probably,” Robles’ coach, Tim Swords, said, according to Reuters. “When Sarah beat Hubbard in the snatch, we were congratulated by multiple coaching staffs. Nobody wanted her to win.”

Hubbard may be the first openly transgender athlete to compete at a world championships in an Olympic sport. No openly transgender athlete has competed at an Olympics, though Olympic rules allow it.

Robles, Hubbard and others benefited from the absence of countries banned for doping issues, like weightlifting powers China and Russia, and North Korea, another strong lifting nation, not sending a team.

Chinese and North Korean lifters won gold and silver in the super heavyweight division in Rio.

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Photo finish! Men’s single sculls finalists post twin 6:41.34 times

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
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The early bird gets the worm, as the athlete who claims he was the first to arrive at the Olympic Village put another rowing medal in the books for New Zealand.

The margin was razor thin, but Mahe Drysdale beat Croatia’s Damir Martin in a photo finish of 6:41.34 in the men’s single sculls final on Saturday.

WATCH: Full race replay

Drysdale took a gold medal in this event in London and a bronze in Beijing.

Czech Republic rower Ondrej Synek finished with bronze.

The USA did not push a boat into the final.

New Zealand’s Bond, Murray win men’s pair gold in rowing

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
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Hamish Bond and Eric Murray made sure there was a Kiwi flavor to today’s medal-heavy rowing.

The New Zealand duo took gold in men’s pair with a time of 6:59.71.

WATCH: Full race replay

That was nearly three seconds better than silver medalists Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling of South Africa, and five better than Giovanni Abagnale and Marco Di Costanzo of Italy.

USA’s Anders Weiss and Nareg Guregian will finish off the podium.