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

Mary Kom is one of the most prominent sportspersons in India and the first sitting member of Parliament to win a medal at a major event

Mary Kom is one of the most prominent sportspersons in India and the first sitting member of Parliament to win a medal at a major event

"It is also time to begin to invest in our athletes if we want to do well in sports". I was part of that and I acknowledge it. "We just need to boost the profile of the Paralympics and get that showcased around the world a bit more".

He also said organisers "got it wrong" after they broke with tradition and arranged for athletes to enter Carrara stadium before the ceremony started. However, having them come in to the stadium in the pre-show meant the TV audience were not able to see the athletes enter the stadium, alongside flag bearers. "You have to look at the Olympic Games as the pinnacle of athletic achievement, and many the athletes that are going for gold and going for the podium use these Games to measure and help them prepare for the Olympics".

"It is very simple".

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".

"They have flown the South African flag high and we are proud of them".

Beattie, who had previously described the CWG as "inspirational" and "innovative", said he was disappointed the viewers at home did not get to see the athletes.

"I love cricket more than I love athletics but the fact that I could not see the ball made it hard for me to play the sport".

The closing ceremony included live acts by Australian pop stars Guy Sebastian, Samantha Jade, Dami Im and The Veronicas.

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President Ram Nath Kovind also took to Twitter to congratulate the Indian contingent.

"Truly if we want a Games that is representative of all the people across the Commonwealth, then our athletes need to be truly representative", said the American, a former senior executive at the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).

"It hasn't really lived up to expectations and I've got to say it's about the only thing they got wrong, but they did get it wrong tonight". I'm still sad that a wonderful Commonwealth Games has been tarnished with such a sad ending.

"But you know, it is what it is and they tried something different and unfortunately it didn't pay off". "You want to see them celebrating 11 days of great sport".

Minister of Sports and Recreation Tokozile Xasa said the athletes would be rewarded.

Local media slammed organisers for taking the spotlight away from the athletes, and Australia's para-athlete flagbearer Kurt Fearnley said it was "pretty strange".

"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 can't be more honest about it than that. We had at least, 11 semi-finalists which we had not seen in a long time.

"All of a sudden I saw the guy to my left come through and I was a bit like "woah", Arnott told Reuters.

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