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England wins gold medal race at Commonwealth Games

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England wins gold medal race at Commonwealth Games
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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- After her country was usurped in the gold medal race by England, Australian pop star Kylie Minogue closed the Commonwealth Games on Sunday as Glasgow passed the baton to the Gold Coast.

Australia missed out on top spot in the medal standings for the first time since 1986, but will be hoping for better things in four years when Queensland hosts the multi-sports event that attracts athletes from countries aligned with the former British Empire.

Hampden Park was transformed from a track and field arena into a music venue, with athletes filling a field scattered with tents to recreate a festival vibe.

''The games have made us all very proud and truly brought our family together,'' Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Imran Tunku of Malaysia told the 40,000-strong crowd. ''Scotland, and Glasgow, you really have delivered in every aspect the best games ever.''

Here is a look at the highlights of the 11th and final day of competition:

ENGLISH SUCCESS: The first gold Sunday went to English cyclist Lizzie Armistead in the road race, and the country ended the day with another in badminton to increase its total to 58, nine clear of second-place Australia.

Armitstead, who finished second in the London Olympics road race and at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, led an England one-two finish in the 98-kilometer (61-mile) race on the wet streets of Glasgow.

''Now I can call myself a champ, not a runner-up,'' Armitstead said. ''It was special, something I've always dreamed about.''

She finished the seven-lap course in 2 hours, 38 minutes, 43 seconds. Her teammate Emma Pooley, the silver medalist in the time trial on Thursday and who said she plans to retire from cycling, was 25 seconds behind.

Ashleigh Pasio of South Africa took the bronze in a photo finish with Australia's Tiffany Cromwell. Both finished 1:11 behind Armitstead.

Linda Villumsen of New Zealand, the gold medalist in the time trial, was fifth.

''It was a great course,'' Armitstead said. ''I won the national championships here last year, so I was prepared. I definitely had an advantage knowing the track.''

And the rain, which hit the course on several occasions to make conditions slippery for the riders, helped Armitstead.

''As soon as it started to rain, I knew that was an advantage, because when you're solo you can keep going fast in the wet,'' she said.

WELSH TRIUMPH: In the 12-lap, 168-kilometer (104-mile) men's race held through mostly steady rain, Geraint Thomas of Wales, who won bronze in the time trial here and was 22nd in this year's Tour de France, overcame a punctured tire with just under seven kilometers (4.3 miles) remaining to win gold.

Thomas, who led by about 50 seconds when his tire needed to be replaced by his crew, finished in 4 hours, 13 minutes, 5 seconds. Jack Bauer of New Zealand and Scott Thwaites of England had a sprint finish for second, with Bauer edging ahead on the line for silver. Both Bauer and Thwaites were 1:21 behind Thomas.

''It was such a grim day, I felt terrible at the start,'' Thomas said. ''And when I had that puncture, I thought, 'what do I have to do'? But I had a decent enough gap to stay out in front.''

AUSTRALIA STREAK: Australia beat India 4-0 to win its fifth consecutive men's field hockey gold. England beat New Zealand 4-2 in a penalty shootout to take the bronze medal after the teams were level 3-3 after regulation time ended. Australia has won 29 of its 30 matches at the Commonwealth Games, only losing a pool match against South Africa 3-2 in 1998.

NETBALL GOLD: Australia easily beat defending champions New Zealand 58-40 for gold in netball; Jamaica beat England 52-48 for bronze.

FAMILY FIRST: In the all-England mixed team badminton final, the husband-and-wife team of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock won the gold medal, beating Chris Langridge and Heather Olver. Michelle Li of Canada won the women's singles gold, beating Kirsty Gilmour of Scotland. Kashyap Parupalli of India won gold in men's singles, beating Derek Wong of Singapore.

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AP Sports Writer Rob Harris contributed to this report.

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