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May 30, 2017

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Glasgow Games an unmitigated success

GLASGOW, Scotland -- After disappointing in Delhi in 2010, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow were hailed as an unmitigated success, drawing some of the sporting world's top stars and packed crowds to venues.

The low-key Delhi Games were quickly forgotten as Scotland's biggest city warmly embraced more than 4,000 athletes from 71 nations, 53 of them former British colonies, the rest mainly territories or dependencies.

"Glasgow you really have delivered in every aspect the best Games ever," Commonwealth Games Federation president Prince Tunku Imran said.

Opened in blisteringly hot conditions, the balmy weather eventually receded to ensure a traditionally wetter climax.

But the rain did not dampen the spirit and enthusiasm on view at a host of top venues including Celtic Park, Ibrox and Hampden Park.

Needless to say, Usain Bolt grabbed the headlines, the Jamaican sprint legend anchoring his team to gold in the men's 4x100m relay.

He had caused controversy in the lead-up to that after The Times reported that he had dubbed the Games a "bit shit."

Bolt, with six Olympic and eight world gold medals to his name, was vehement in his denial of the story.

"The people were good, the food great and the energy was outstanding," said Bolt, who reveled as a vibrant Hampden Park afforded him a hero's welcome.

East African giants Kenya topped the track and field medals table with 23 in total, including 10 golds, 10 silvers and three bronzes, with Bolt's Jamaica second with 19 (10-3-6).

There was no doubt that the outstanding overall performance on the track came not from Jamaica but the Kenyan women's team, who won 13 of all 18 medals on offer between 800m and marathon, including all six golds.

It was England who topped the overall medal table ahead of arch-rivals Australia, who will host the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, and Canada, with hosts Scotland finishing an unexpected fourth.

Australia once again led the way in the pool, winning 19 of the 44 gold medals on offer, but their dominance was challenged by the home nations as England claimed 10 gold medals, Scotland three and Wales their first female golds in the pool for 40 years thanks to Jazz Carlin and Georgia Davies.

The Aussie women led the way with 11 golds in total, including three apiece for Emma Mckeown and Cate Campbell, whilst England's Fran Halsall bounced back from a disappointing couple of years to take double sprint gold in the 50m butterfly and freestyle.

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