Glasgow: The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were hailed Sunday as a "stand-out" event by organisers who insisted the movement, comprising largely former British colonies, was well and truly alive.
A combination of the high quality of sports on show, a well-defined legacy plan, the home nation`s success, top-class venues, and friendly reception offered by 15,000 volunteers and the city`s residents helped make the Games a success, according to Mike Hooper, CEO of the Commonwealth Games Federation.
"These have been great Games and in my view the stand-out Games in the history of the movement," said Hooper.
Bringing together more than 4,000 athletes from 71 nations, including 53 former British colonies - the rest mainly territories or dependancies, in 17 sports, the Commonwealth movement remained strong with high expectations for the next Games in Australia`s Gold Coast in 2018, he added.
"The spirit of these Games has continued to endure."
The federation, Hooper said, was "delighted with the Glasgow Games and they`re all very excited about the future of the movement going forward to Gold Coast and beyond".
"We`ve got 37 nations on the medal tally, one more than in Delhi and that`s a very good outcome for the Games movement," Hooper said.
"With 52 medals, Scotland has at least doubled its tally from Delhi. To finish fourth overall on the medals tally is a great outcome for our hosts and it really has contributed to ensuring that these Games will be truly remembered as fantastic.
"Congratulations to England as well. Its position atop the medal table has been guaranteed. I`m sure the Australians will now come out hard in Gold Coast in four years` time to regain top spot."
Hooper praised the public for embracing the Games before the announcement of top-drawer names such as Usain Bolt or Mo Farah, saying that one million tickets had been sold before any potential line-ups had been revealed.
In the first 10 days of competition, he said, there had been 142 Games records and nine world records.
"What an amazing 11 days," added Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of the Glasgow 2014 organising committee, who was quick to praise Scottish politicians for deferring talk on next month`s independence referendum.
"I think all politicians have kept politics out of this. We`re apolitical and we stay that way.
"I think people have behaved very well over this. I have not detected any politics throughout my six-and-a-half years of actually chairing these Games."
Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg, an American, hailed the "sensational support" in Glasgow.
"That wall of sound we absolutely wanted to create has created the perfect stage for athletes in this sports-focused Games. Glasgow and all the fans that came to support these Games delivered," he said.
Grevemberg also praised the 15,000 volunteers, dubbed "Clydesiders" for putting the "friendly into the Friendly Games".
First Published: Sunday, August 03, 2014, 17:43