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Games hailed as standout

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

GLASGOW - Glasgow 2014 has been hailed as "the standout Games in the history of the movement" by Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive Mike Hooper.

After 11 days of action across 17 sports, the event came to a close at Hampden Park on Sunday evening, with hosts Scotland finishing fourth overall with a record haul of 19 golds and a best-ever tally of 53 medals.

England topped the medal table for the first time in 28 years, Wales surpassed their target of 27 and Northern Ireland reaped their largest tally since the Games was last in Scotland in 1986.

The Isle of Man had a silver to celebrate thanks to cyclist Peter Kennaugh's efforts in the points race, but Jersey and Guernsey failed to register.

It is the third time in their 84-year existence that the Games have been staged in Scotland - after Edinburgh in 1970 and 1986 - and chief executive Hooper maintains they have been the best.

"In my view, they are the standout Games in the history of the movement," said the New Zealander of the 20th edition.

"The way in which the people of Scotland and Glasgow have embraced the Games right from the get-go has been incredible."

After an underwhelming staging in Delhi four years ago, and the withdrawals of a succession of big names in the build-up to Glasgow, there had been concerns over whether such success would be forthcoming.

Botswana's Nijel Amos beat world record holder and Olympic champion David Rudisha in the 800m; Scotland's Ross Murdoch stunned poster boy and compatriot Michael Jamieson to take gold in the 200m breaststroke; English 16-year-old Claudia Fragapane claimed four gymnastics golds and 13-year-old Erraid Davies' took a swimming bronze for Scotland.

Scottish postman Charlie Flynn's response to winning lightweight boxing gold made him a cult figure, as did Lynsey Sharp's gutsy 800m silver just hours after being hooked up to a drip in the village hospital.

But the big names who did appear delivered too.

Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to 4x100m relay gold to make everyone forget about claims he had been disparaging about the Games.

South African swimmer Chad Le Clos won a record-equalling seven medals; Northern Ireland's Olympic gold medallist Paddy Barnes made history by retaining his light-flyweight title and England's Nicola Adams claimed the first ever women's boxing gold; and David Weir romped to his first Commonwealth title in the men's T54 1500m.

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