Glasgow 2014 has exceded expectations:1st Minister

Glasgow: Scotland`s First Minister Alex Salmond believes the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have surpassed all expectations both in the hosts` sporting success and the positive legacy it will provide.

A record haul of 53 medals has propelled Scotland into fourth place in the overall medals table and Salmond said politicians must put the structures in place to capitalise on that legacy.

"I had high expectations and high hopes for the Games. I always believed we could deliver a fantastically run Games," he said on Sunday.

"But I think it has exceeded the expectations of myself and the country. That aspect will be a great building block for how we approach other challenges in taking forward this bonus from the Games. This is a brilliant platform for further endeavour in sport."

Salmond quelled expectations that the Games could provide a springboard for Scotland to host larger sporting events, claiming the Commonwealth Games were "great value" given the relatively low level of public expenditure needed in comparison to the football World Cup or the Olympic Games.

However, he insisted the lustre of the Commonwealth Games has been restored in Glasgow with the Gold Coast in Australia now due to host the 2018 Games.

"The overwhelming impression of Glasgow and Scotland`s Games is of a job extremely well done. 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.

"The Commonwealth Games is a wonderful display of international friendship and cultural exchange as well as sporting endeavour and we hope it can now go from strength to strength."

However, Salmond continued to hold back on whether the Games will have a positive influence for the Scottish National Party`s yes campaign in the upcoming Scottish referendum on independence.

Salmond will face former British finance minister and leader of the "Better Together" campaign, promoting a no vote in the referendum, Alistair Darling in a televised debate on Tuesday and insisted he would wait till then to say whether the Games had been a boost for his campaign.

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