Australia has beaten Sri Lanka to the hosting rights for the 2018 Commonwealth Games with the Gold Coast in Queensland chosen over Hambantota.

The 54-member Commonwealth links Britain with its former colonies.

“I am so proud of this team, I am so proud of the Gold Coast, and I am so proud of being a Queenslander,” Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said on Saturday after the news came in that Australia was to host the games for a fifth time.

The decision was relayed from St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, where 70 of the 71 voting delegates were meeting. The Commonwealth Games Federation voted 43 to 27 in favour of the Gold Coast.

Australia has hosted four of the 19 games: Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982 and Melbourne in 2006.

The 2014 Games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

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