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Glasgow Games hailed best ever in rousing closing Ceremony

By Sam Holden and Michael Hann

GLASGOW (Reuters) - Hailed as the best ever Commonwealth Games by Federation president Prince Tunku Imran, Glasgow 2014 celebrated the end of a memorable 20th edition with a colorful closing ceremony on Sunday.

In a sporting festival recognized for the warmth of its welcome, the ceremony at Hampden Park fittingly celebrated the event loudly and proudly, much like the spectators have done at each sporting venue.

“The Commonwealth Games are known as the Friendly Games. Glasgow has succeeded in making them even more than that,” Prince Imran told the rejoicing crowd.

“These have truly been the people’s Games. Scotland, you have welcomed the athletes of the Commonwealth and have contributed to them realizing their dreams on one of the world’s great sporting stages.

“Scotland, and Glasgow, you really have delivered in every aspect the best Games ever. Glasgow you were pure, dead brilliant.”

Britain's Prince Edward officially closed the Games after the CGF flag had been handed from Glasgow dignitaries to officials from Australia's Gold Coast, which will host the 21st edition of the event in four years time.

Glaswegian-born singer Lulu began the show with athletes from the 71 Commonwealth nations and territories emerging from tents adorning the Hampden Park track where six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt ran Jamaica to relay gold a day earlier.

Welsh rhythmic gymnast Frankie Jones, who won six medals at the Games, received the David Dixon award after being named as the outstanding athlete in Glasgow before the handover to the Gold Coast took place.

Singer Kylie Minogue, one of Australia’s most famous exports, delighted the Hampden Park crowd after a video had shown a glimpse of what awaits on the Gold Coast in four years time.

The ceremony came to a close when a lone piper, standing on the roof of Hampden Park, played Auld Lang Syne before being joined in song by a jubilant stadium.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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