England tops medal table as Commonwealth Games close

Story highlights

  • The Commonwealth Games come to a close
  • England top the medal table, with Australia second
  • Hosts Scotland enjoyed their best ever games
  • 70,000 people watch the closing ceremony in Glasgow

England held off a late charge by Australia to top the Commonwealth Games medal table as the eleventh, and final, day of competition drew to a close.

As many as 70,000 people attended the closing ceremony in Hampden Park after a day of action that began in a deluge and ended with Australia winning the final gold medal of the games as the baton was passed to the country's Gold Coast, who will be the next host in 2018.

The highlight of the day was the grueling men's road race, a 168-kilometer test of endurance that started in horrendous conditions.

Despite suffering two front wheel punctures Geraint Thomas, who only last week finished the Tour de France, won Wales' first ever cycling gold medal after finishing one minute and 21 second ahead of his nearest rival, New Zealand's Jack Bauer.

Elsewhere Jamaica beat England in the bronze medal match in the netball whilst Australia thrashed New Zealand to clinch gold, destroying their rivals 58-40 in what was one of the Commonwealth Games' few truly world class fields.

The final gold of the tournament was won by Australia in the men's squash doubles final. But it wasn't enough to overtake England, who won a whopping 174 medals, 58 of them gold.

Yet the closing ceremony had an antipodean feel as Australia's Gold Coast were handed the honor of hosting the next tournament, before Kylie Minogue performed on stage.

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Apparently caught up in the excitement of the moment, Australian runner Genevieve LaCaze crashed the stage during Minogue's performance, dancing and waving an Australian flag before being removed by security.

"It was my 25th birthday," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "I just saw the opportunity to get on stage with Kylie."

After the chaos that had plagued the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, Glasgow ran a largely error free games that had been seen by many in Scotland as a chance to wave its flag on the international stage. In September Scotland votes in an independence referendum to decide whether it should leave the United Kingdom.

But with Scotland's bitterly divided political elite looking on Malaysia's Prince Imran, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, declared the games the "best ever".

"The Commonwealth Games are known as the Friendly Games. Glasgow has succeeded in making them even more than that. These have truly been

the People's Games," he said at the closing ceremony.

"Glasgow - you were pure, dead brilliant."