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Oz city Gold Coast wins bid to host 2018 Commonwealth Games

November 12, 2011 - London

Gold Coast has won the bid to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games in a secret ballot in St Kitts and Nevis.

The Commonwealth Games Federation's General Assembly voted 43 to 27 in favour of the Australian city over Sri Lanka's Hambantota town following intense lobbying by both sides.

The Coast will now become the fifth Australian city to host the Games after Sydney Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne.

The city burst into celebration as the news was broadcast live from St Kitts to Southport Parklands.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, who had lobbied for the bid alongwith Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke, said she was extremely relieved on hearing the announcement.

"We've done a lot of hard work and it was very clear early in the week there was a lot of delegates who supported Hambantota and it would be a very, very close vote. The hard work has paid off," the Age quoted Bligh as saying.

The race was a close chase with the Gold Coast team portraying the place as a low-risk bid city, while Sri Lanka said hosting Games would offer them a "life-changing opportunity".

Record-breaking Test cricketer Muttiah Muralidaran,who represented the Hambantota bid team, pitched strongly for the cause.

The Gold Coast team represented by Mayor Ron Clarke, Australian Commonwealth Games Association President Sam Coffa, bid team chief Mark Stockwell and local schoolgirl Eve stressed that the town had most venues in proper condition and was capable of hosting the Games successfully.

Gold Coast is expected to spend 1.1 billion dollars in hosting the Games while Hambantota had a budget of 652 million dollars.


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