Rowing: Edinburgh University student Isla MacCallum stars as Scotland top sprint championship medal table

University of Edinburgh’s Isla MacCallum was part of a Scotland rowing team which topped the medal table at the Commonwealth Rowing Association’s Beach Sprint Championship in Walvis Bay, Namibia, winning gold medals at three of the four events.

Runners-up among the 12 competing nations were Australia. Scotland had selected a small but experienced team, also including Stirling University’s Gregor Hall, Sam Scrimgeour, of Glasgow Rowing Club, and Leander Club’s Laura McKenzie, all of whom had helped secure the overall team trophy at the inaugural home international beach sprints in St Andrews earlier this year, while Hall, MacCallum and McKenzie had all represented the GB Rowing Team at the world rowing beach sprint finals in Wales in October.

Fresher MacCallum was racing in her first senior competition following her silver medal in the under-19 women’s coastal solo at the ‘worlds’ and did not disappoint with a fifth-place finish in her time trial, before losing out to an experienced Welsh athlete at the quarter-final stage.

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All four Scots then combined to round off a wonderful championship with victory over England in the final of the team relay following earlier victories over a Bahamas/Barbados composite and Wales.

Edinburgh University’s Isla MacCallum is pictured on the left of the group alongside Gregor Hall, Laura McKenzie and Sam Scrimgeour.

The success augurs well for Scotland’s medal prospects at the 2026 Commonwealth Games, in Victoria, Australia, when the discipline will be added to the programme as well as being under consideration for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, USA.

Backing the team in Namibia were Commonwealth Games Scotland, sportscotland, RivalKit, dryrobe and Lomo Watersport.