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Glasgow will 'never be the same' after 2014 triumph

GLASGOW will "never be the same again" after staging the most successful Commonwealth Games to date, the leader of the city council said as officials heaped praise on the sporting extravaganza.

proud: Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said the city had left its mark on the world.
proud: Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said the city had left its mark on the world.

Gordon Matheson, leader of Glasgow City Council, said the city would be the "biggest winner" as the closing ceremony drew the curtain on a much-lauded sporting and cultural spectacle.

Mr Matheson spoke as Team Scotland's medal tally topped a record 53 - well ahead of its previous record of 33 at the 1986 Games in Edinburgh.

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After 11 days of action across 17 sports, the event ended in style with Scotland achieving its best-ever tally of 19 golds, 15 silver and 19 bronze.

Mr Matheson said: "From the Opening Ceremony when we opened our homes to the people of the Commonwealth, to the fantastic display of sport in our world-class venues where we cheered on Team Scotland and indeed every competing athlete, Glasgow has left its mark on the world.

"The people of this city have delivered the best Commonwealth Games in the event's history. We are already seeing the legacy of the Games in jobs, economic development and participation in sport.

"Tonight, we'll continue to party and everyone will enjoy what promises to be a fantastic celebration of our proud city and its remarkable people. Tomorrow, and for years to come, the people of Glasgow will grab the legacy of the Games and make it their own. Glasgow will never be the same again."

First Minister Alex Salmond said Glasgow had staged a "gallus and glittering Games" that Scotland could be proud of. He added: "The Games have left us with many inspiring memories, from the youngest ever medallist for Scotland - 13-year-old Erraid Davies to para-sport athletes fully integrated into the Games - every member of Team Scotland giving their all.

"We must now look ahead at how the Games can inspire the next generation to strive for success in whatever they do, be it sport, education or enterprise - that will be the true Games legacy for Scotland."

Louise Martin CBE, chairwoman of sportscotland, said Team Scotland had exceeded all expectations. She said: "The 19 gold, 15 silver and 19 bronze medals won across 10 sports is a truly remarkable achievement and will undoubtedly have inspired countless children and young people to get involved in sport as they aim to emulate their new heroes."

David Grevemberg, chief ­executive of Glasgow 2014, said "the legitimacy and credibility of the Games themselves" and "the relevance of the Commonwealth" had been the key elements hammered home by the Glasgow event.

Scotland's Sport Secretary Shona Robison, who oversaw planning as Commonwealth Games minster, said the city had been "absolutely buzzing", demonstrating that Scotland could put on a "fantastic" show.

"Everybody should be very proud of what they've achieved," she said.

Team Scotland finished fourth in the medals table, with the biggest successes in bowls, judo and swimming.

Team Scotland chef de mission Jon Doig said the Games' success rested on "very early investment" in the athletes and coaches programmes and support from local communities.

He added: "Once they have got here, [the success was down to] the phenomenal home crowds and the platform Glasgow 2014 has provided them. Put those things together then you have a great team and great result.

"We worked very hard in the lead-up to the Games in terms of getting the athletes together and realising they are part of something huge, and they really respond to that."

Mike Cantlay, chairman of VisitScotland said: "The Games has presented a unique opportunity for Scottish tourism. This has been our chance show the world the iconic pillars of Scotland - our cities, our landscapes, our history, our culture, our world-class venues and of course our people."

Glasgow 2014 was hailed as the best Games in the 84 years of the event and "the standout Games in the history of the movement" by Mike Hooper, chief executive of the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Scots swimmer Ross Murdoch stunned compatriot Michael Jamieson to take gold in the 200m breaststroke early on in the Games, while also in the pool Hannah Miley stormed to victory in the women's 400m individual medley.

Dan Wallace got a third swimming gold for Scotland in the men's 400m individual medley.

Scots gymnasts also triumphed. Daniel Keatings won the men's pommel while team-mate Daniel Purvis took the top spot in the parallel bars.

The gold rush continued in lawn bowls with Scotland winning the men's pairs and fours and in judo Euan Burton, Scotland's flag bearer in the opening ceremony, won the men's -100kg category.

And in the boxing ring, Josh Taylor and Charlie Flynn sealed double Commonwealth Games boxing gold for Scotland on an emotional final night of competition at the Hydro on Saturday.

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