21st Commonwealth Games concludes with new medal record for Sri Lanka

21st Commonwealth Games concludes with new medal record for Sri Lanka

21st Commonwealth Games concludes with new medal record for Sri Lanka

Gold Coast: Gold Coast Commonwealth Games chief Peter Beattie admits organizers botched Sunday's closing ceremony, accepting criticism that long-winded speeches had fans rushing for the exits while athletes were largely excluded from the broadcast.

"They made the decision not to have the actual athletes enter the stadium, they made the decision not to show the flag-bearers and I'm furious", Griggs said.

The ceremony has been slammed for snubbing the athletes and denying them the recognition for their achievements during the 11 days of competition. "Again, we got that wrong", he said.

"Did we stuff it up? Yes".

"As rights holders, we were only allowed one camera in the stadium, a news camera, on the condition we wouldn't show the vision for 24 hours", Griggs said.

"It was the intention of the Closing Ceremony creative to have the athletes involved from the very start of the show, enabling them to be all part of the celebrations, " read the statement.

Australia blitzed the medal tally with 80 gold, matching its haul in 1998 to make it the country's fourth most successful Commonwealth Games behind Victoria, Canada (87 gold, 1994), Melbourne (84, 2006) and Manchester (82, 2002).

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Channel Seven's Johanna Griggs, who was co-hosting the ceremonies, ripped the organizers' decision while on-camera. "I wouldn't have come if I didn't have to", he said.

She noted the closing night was particularly important for swimmers because heavy first-week programs meant they usually skipped the opening ceremony. "It is also time to begin to invest in our athletes if we want to do well in sports".

The support for Para-athletes from the Gold Coast crowds has been vocal and wheelchair-bound local Kurt Fearnley said the backing he received winning silver in the wheelchair 1,500m "almost blew my head off". They made the decision not to show the flagbearers.

On plans to sustain the tempo of improvement in the nation's athletics, the ex-national athlete said: "Our next target is the African Senior Championships that will be held in Asaba, Nigeria".

Beattie also acknowledged that the formal part of the proceedings was excessive.

"I was one of hundreds of dancers and we had the most exhilarating experience and I'm gutted that Australia missed out on it", she said. I was part of that and I acknowledge it.

In fact, viewers didn't really see any athletes in the broadcast of the closing ceremony, and they were pretty mad about it.

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