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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 March 2006, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Blair salutes Scots' medal haul
Prime Minister Tony Blair
Tony Blair said Scotland's hard work at the games had "paid off"
The prime minister has said Scotland's competitors should be proud of their efforts at the Commonwealth Games.

Tony Blair said they had performed "superbly well" during the Melbourne games.

Speaking as the closing ceremony got under way, Mr Blair said Scots had done well to win 11 gold medals and finish sixth in the medal table.

He lauded the atmosphere in Melbourne and added that he hoped Scotland's bid to host the 2014 games would succeed.

The competition is coming to an end in Melbourne after 12 days, with Scotland enjoying success, particularly in the swimming events.

Caitlin McClatchey, 20, became the first Scottish woman to win two individual gold medals at a Commonwealth Games in the 400m freestyle and 200m events.

They've all been putting their shoulder to the wheel and it's paid off
Prime Minister Tony Blair

Mr Blair said: "Scotland has done superbly well with 11 gold medals and sixth place in the medal table.

"I think people worked hard before the games as well and I know that Jack McConnell, (Sports Minister) Patricia Ferguson, the Scottish Institute of Sport - they've all been putting their shoulder to the wheel and it's paid off.

"People can be really proud."

The prime minister praised the atmosphere surrounding the Melbourne games and said he hoped it would be "a good omen" for Scotland's bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"We would love to see the Commonwealth Games come to Scotland," the prime minister went on.

"They were very, very successful in Manchester and you only have to be here in Melbourne just to understand what it's done as a showcase for the state, the city and Australia."

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