Scots rowers lead the way at Commonwealth event

Volunteers fly the flags of the 14 nations involved
Volunteers fly the flags of the 14 nations involved

Scotland topped the medal table at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships held this weekend at Strathclyde Country Park.

Fourteen nations competed over two days in events over a 1,500m and 500m course as they would have done had rowing been involved in Glasgow 2014.

The Scottish team won nine gold medals, four silvers and two bronzes ahead of England with five golds, seven silvers and three bronzes and Canada on four golds, four silvers and five bronzes.

Wales and Australia each won one gold, with Wales also taking four silvers and five bronzes, while Northern Ireland took two bronze.

Norfolk Islands lightweight sculler Simon Nola made history with his nation’s first-ever medal, a bronze in the 500m dash.

Glasgow’s Angus Groom was the most successful athlete at the event, winning four golds in open single sculls and sprint single sculls, before joining up with Lewis McCue to win both the open and sprint double sculls categories.

He said: “To be a Commonwealth champion is absolutely brilliant.

“This is my first time representing Scotland at anything, so to do it on home waters is absolutely fantastic.”

McCue took a third gold when he partnered Cameron Buchan from Denny to victory in the coxless pairs event.

The Scottish women’s quadruple sculls crew of Rebecca Lightfoot, Emma McDonald, Katherine Douglas and Karen Bennett won the first final of the event to set the tone.

Bennett and Douglas then partnered each other to gold in the women’s pair event, as well as silver medals in double sculls.

Donald Evans won lightweight single sculls and the Scottish gold medal haul was completed by Tom Claxton and Kieran Brown in the lightweight coxless pairs sprint, who also won in the full-distance pairs and double sculls events.

Georgina Grandfield came second in the women’s single sculls category while the Scottish bronze medals were picked up by Emma McDonald in lightweight singles and McDonald and Lightfoot, in lightweight double sculls.

Team manager Graeme Cunningham said: “Glasgow 2014 has had a massive impact on the team.

“The athletes rowed with pride and belief to produce Scotland’s best ever performance at the Commonwealth Rowing Championships.

“It has been an exciting regatta and this is the beginning of a journey that will propel these athletes to the very top.”