12 Nov 2011

Gold Coast celebrates right to host 2018 Games

6:00 pm on 12 November 2011

Thousands of people in Queensland are celebrating the awarding of the 2018 Commonwealth Games to the Gold Coast, which beat the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota to win hosting rights.

At an assembly in St Kitts in the West Indies, 70 Commonwealth Games Federation delegates have voted 43-27 for the Gold Coast.

Queensland premier Anna Bligh, who has been in St Kitts for a week lobbying with Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke, says all their hard work has paid off.

Thousands who had gathered before a big screen in Southport erupted into cheers and flag-waving when the announcement was made, the ABC reports. People hugged, danced, shouted and some even cried.

It will be Australia's fifth hosting of the Commonwealth Games, following Sydney (1938), Perth (1962), Brisbane (1982) and Melbourne (2006).

Hambantota is a southern coastal city that was devastated by the 2004 tsunami. The ABC reports that Sri Lanka, seeking to host the Games for the first time, sent a delegation of 60 to the St Kitts meeting.

The 2010 Games were held in Delhi, India, and the 2014 event will be in Glasgow, Scotland.