sport

Curtain falls on best Games

Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue helped bring the curtain down on the 2014 Commonwealth Games on Sunday in a colourful, upbeat ceremony which saw the 11-day showpiece hailed as 'the best ever'.

A crowd of 45,000 at Hampden Park roared their approval as Commonwealth Games Federation president Prince Tunku Imran reached for the superlatives as Minogue and Scottish acts Lulu, Deacon Blue and Prides hit the high notes.

Prince Imran took to the stage to thank all involved in the smooth running of the Games, in particular the thousands of volunteers, known as the 'Clydesiders'.

"Glasgow you really have delivered in every aspect the best Games ever," he said.

Chairman of the organising committee, Lord Smith of Kelvin, said: "These have truly been the people's Games. We have welcomed the world to our dear green place and it has been an experience we will never forget."

The Commonwealth flag was then formally presented to Australian representatives from the Gold Coast, where the Games will be held in four years' time.

"Glasgow you have set the bar very high with your exhibition of sport and culture," said Jann Stuckey, Queensland Minister for the Commonwealth Games.

And the Glasgow Games were then officially closed by the Earl of Wessex.

"Every four years these Games bring the spirit of our Commonwealth alive. They express friendship between nations, and wealth, for the good of humanity and peace of the world," he said.

"So, I call sports men and women from all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth to come together in four years' for the Commonwealth Games."

And the ceremony closed with renditions of famous Scottish folk songs 'Caledonia' and 'Auld Lang Syne', accompanied by a piper installed precariously on the roof of the famous old stadium.

Earlier on Sunday, Scottish Frist Minister Alex Salmond ruled the Games a job well done and claimed they had exceeded all expectations.

"The overwhelming impression of Glasgow and Scotland's Games is of a job extremely well done," he said.

"They have been seven years and more in the planning. We hope we have taken the baton on for the Commonwealth and can present it to the Gold Coast in fine order."

Prime Minister David Cameron, meanwhile, said Glasgow had proved itself the ideal "friendly city for the friendly Games".

"It has been dazzling, it has been wonderful, it has been a joy to behold and you have made the whole country proud. Thank you very much indeed."

On a rain-soaked day of action earlier in the day, England had consolidated their place on top of the medals table for the first time since 1986 ahead of Australia while Scotland rounded off their most successful ever Games by finishing on 53 medals.