Lauded by organisers as "inspirational" and "innovative", the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games have come to an end with a heavily-criticised closing ceremony.
Empty seats, slam poetry and a lack of star power made for an underwhelming spectacle as the 21st Games drew to a close at Carrara Stadium on Sunday night.
Presenters for the Seven Network, the Australian broadcast rights holders for the Games, added to the opprobrium, teeing off at Games organisers because the vision they provided did not include the athletes entering the stadium.
The decision meant television viewers were denied the chance to watch inspirational para-sports veteran Kurt Fearnley carrying the Australian flag into the venue.
Peter Beattie earlier stopped short of declaring the Games the best ever.
But the chairman of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games organising committee said the event had answered an overhanging question.
Does the Commonwealth Games have a future?
"We have answered that on the Gold Coast. It has a very powerful future," Beattie told reporters on Sunday.
Australia reclaimed its mantle as the Commonwealth's sporting power, winning 80 gold medals on home soil, well clear of England (45 golds) and India (26).
But Commonwealth Games Federation president Louise Martin was more pleased with one other aspect of the medal table: 42 out of 71 nations won medals, including five for the first time.
"To me, that is exceptional," Martin told reporters on Sunday.
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The last medals on offer were a Sunday spread.
Among others, three Australians and a Namibian were marathon victors; Malaysians, Indians and English triumphed at badminton; New Zealanders and Australians took squash gold; the English won the netball; Singaporeans triumphed at table tennis.
Australia has topped the medal table at 13 of the 21 Commonwealth Games.
Off-field, the Gold Coast's Games were mostly trouble-free.
"We avoid that (question) simply because we think they are great Games," Beattie said.
"And you can always measure each
"So we don't get into that comparison.
"But there are two words that are very applicable
For the first time at a major sporting event,
Those aspects would leave a lasting legacy, Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive David Grevemberg said.
"The bar has certainly been raised on a number of levels," Grevemberg told reporters on Sunday.
"This has been very much a pebble in a pond that creates the tsunami in some respects.
"Some of the things that have been done here have not only been Commonwealth firsts, they have been global firsts."
Australian Associated Press