The Commonwealth Games in Melbourne have been praised for their excellent organisation, massive ticket sales and over 70 new Games records.
Crowds packed the MCG for the athletics programme
Commonwealth Games Federation chief Mike Furnell said: "What an incredible success these 18th Games have been."
Australia ended top of the medals table for the fifth straight time, with 84 golds and a total haul of 221.
Ticket sales were a concern before the Games but 80,000 capacity crowds packed the MCG on seven consecutive nights.
In the end 1.6 million tickets were sold worth almost £33m - almost double the amount sold in Manchester four years ago.
TOTAL MEDALS WON
South Africa: 38
The Victorian state government estimated that the Games' overall budget of almost £286m would be met.
Australia's federal sports minister Rod Kemp added: "These Games have lifted Melbourne and Australia to new levels."
Despite concerns of the growing dominance of the big four nations Australia, England, Canada and India, there remains an air of optimism about the future of the Games.
New Delhi will stage the Commonwealths in 2010 as India hosts the event for the first time.
It has been elected as only the third city from a developing nation to stage the Games that bring together athletes from 71 countries and territories that once formed the British empire.
Fennell added: "With the inspiration derived from these Games and the standard of excellence that has been set, it will be a hard act to follow.
"But we have every confidence that the bar will again be raised in 2010."
And as the closing ceremony drew to an end, representatives from Glasgow, Halifax (Canada) and Abuja all bidding to host the Games in 2014 looked on hopefully.