A trans-identified male athlete has taken the top spot in yet another Canadian women’s running competition, adding to the growing list of victories against female athletes he has claimed since transitioning.
Tiffany Newell, 50, has now placed first in the women’s indoor 1500 meter running competition for women aged 50-54, which was held in Toronto, Ontario this past week. This is Newell’s latest victory and has added to his long list of first-place rankings and records in women’s running competitions.
On January 8, Newell took the top spot in the women’s 3000 meter for women aged 45-49 at the Winter Mini Meet, and would rank first in the women’s 5000 meter for women aged 45-49 just days later.
He then went on to rank first in the 1500 meter for women aged 45-49 on February 5, and, following a birthday which placed him in a new age category, ranked first in the 1500 meter in the category for women aged 50-54 in a competition held from February 23 to February 26 in Toronto.
The news of Newell’s latest victory was announced by the International Consortium on Women’s Sport, a campaign group advocating for sexed categories, prompting anger and disbelief from those concerned with the preservation of women’s sport.
“That is ridiculous and no fan of athletics will view it as any sort of achievement,” wrote Colin Winter in response to the announcement. “It is a farce & everyone knows it but too many are too frit to say so. Frit is no excuse. If one’s job is to protect the integrity of a sport, that is what one has to do. If unable to do so, resign.”
Some have also expressed concern that Newell’s new age classification will result in him now seizing the 5000 meter title from Maria Zambrano, a female athlete with multiple records across the age groups she has competed in.
21/ Even a 17:22 puts the 49-year old Newell in a position to challenge the 🇨🇦 W50 5000m record, set last year by multiple AG record holder Maria Zambrano (results going back to 2003 @WorldAthletics).— George M. Perry (@georgeabtsports) January 18, 2023
A repeat of 18:02 indoor would demolish the W50 record, currently at 18:58.
Last year, Newell set a Canadian record in the 5000 meter indoor running competition for women aged 45-49 held at Toronto’s York University. Newell ran 18:02.30 over the distance, besting the previous record by six seconds. His record was ratified by the Canadian Masters Athletics in December, and it became the first time a trans-identified male athlete in Canada broke a national record in track.
At that same competition, Newell also placed first in the women’s 800 meter race for women aged 45-49.
His victories earned him an “honorable mention” as the Ontario Master’s Athlete of the Month in March of 2022, just one month after snatching the top spots.
In January of 2023, Newell placed first in the women’s 5000 meter for women aged 45-49 once again during the Ontario Master’s Mini Meet held in Toronto.
Previously, Newell won a silver medal at the 2021 Canadian XC Championships in the masters 8K, and also finished second at the 2022 Hamilton Marathon.
Newell began transitioning in 2017, but began competing in women’s sport in 2020 after claiming to have met the recommended testosterone levels as set by the World Athletics guidelines on transgender athletes.
Last June, the global regulator for swimming, diving and water polo issued a ruling barring transgender athletes who experienced male puberty from swimming and other aquatic sports. FINA opted to create an “open category” instead in order to preserve the fairness of sexed categories. The decision came after international backlash surrounding the success of Lia Thomas, a trans-identified male, in women’s swimming.
In an interview with Running Magazine earlier this year, Newell rejected the concept of an “open category” for transgender athletes in running, and claimed he should be allowed to compete against females as he identified as such.
“The policy makes sense for non-binary athletes, but I don’t feel comfortable racing against men. It categorizes me in the sex I am not identified as,” Newell said. “I am a woman, and I feel most comfortable racing against women or other transgender women. I believe an open category can work if athletes can continue to race against athletes of the same gender.”
Despite protests from trans activists, studies have consistently affirmed that trans-identified male athletes retain a significant edge over their female counterparts, even after starting hormone therapy.
In 2020, a study released in the British Journal of Sport Medicine noted that trans-identified males were able to complete 31% more push-ups and 15% more sit-ups in one minute on average than a female Air Force service member. They also ran 1.5 miles 21% faster.
But even after two years on testosterone suppression treatment, the males were still 12% faster on average than biological females.
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