England finished with a flourish in the pool, netting seven medals in the final swimming session in Delhi to record their best ever tally in a Commonwealth Games outside England.
There were no golds but two silvers and five bronzes as the England took 34 medals from the pool at the Mukherjee Aquatics Complex - 11 more than in Melbourne four years ago.
Team boss John Atkinson was delighted with his team’s achievement.
“We came into the meet hoping to win 24 to 27 medals and have come away with 34,” he said. “The team have really done themselves proud with the way they’ve approached the whole competition.”
Ellen Gandy was the first into the water and, despite not feeling her best, she claimed a bronze in the 200m butterfly to add to the 100m butterfly silver she won on day four.
Gandy was disappointed but happy to leave the Games with two medals.
She said: “I really thought I could have gone quicker but I gave it all I had today.
“I was sick this morning and I am not sure what it was I had so I just rested between the sessions and got myself ready.
“I haven’t made a senior final before coming here and now I am coming away with this medal so that is really good.”
Stephanie Millward dug deep for silver in the 100m butterfly S9, claiming her third medal of the Games.
She was delighted to have been a part of such a big team. “It feels wonderful to have everyone cheering me on when I race,” she said.
Gemma Spofforth will leave the Games without a gold medal, an almost unfathomable notion after her world record-breaking performance in the 100m backstroke at the world championships last year.
She claimed silver in the women’s 4x100m individual medley. She said: “This has been a real rollercoaster of a week for us all and I am glad it is now over. We wanted the English record here tonight but we didn’t quite get it.
“This will be the team we’ll have now for a couple of years and so we are going to work on making this a faster team.”
Plenty of swimmers were delighted with their medal winning performances on the final evening, such as 22-year-old Keri-Anne Payne from Manchester, who grabbed a bronze in the 400m individual medley.
She said: “I am just so pleased right now and I feel quite emotional. I have worked for so long and I have finally succeeded in a medley final. It is so good to know that my whole year wasn’t for nothing. And I hope that for London I can succeed in both.”
Equally pleased were Robert Welbourn, who won bronze in the S10 100m freestyle, and Daniel Fogg, who also came third in the gruelling 1500m freestyle.
Fogg, who won the British Championship title this year in the same event, said: “I just put my head down and kept kicking. I am so pleased with the bronze because I had no expectations here.”
Two England swimmers were fourth. Andrew Willis missed out on bronze by 0.05secs in the 200m breaststroke and Simon Burnett, who has one silver, could not repeat the feat in the 50m freestyle.
Burnett said: “Finishing fourth is a horrible place to be. But it has been a dream week for me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I have had lots of ups and down recently and I have considered retiring but it has been great to come back and I hope I can carry this on to 2012.”
In the final swimming event of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the men’s 4x100m individual medley won a bronze.
Atkinson said the team’s achievements represented a step-up from their performance in Melbourne four years ago.
“From 45 athletes, 27 are coming away from here with some sort of medal,” he said.