THE INJURY-HIT Brownlee brothers refused to offer excuses after a shock defeat as they failed to make the podium in the triathlon at the Commonwealth Games.

Defending champion Alistair, nursing a calf injury, dropped out of contention at the start of the the run phase eventually trailing in 10th.

Jonny, who also had an interrupted build-up, finished seventh as South Africa's Henri Schoeman claimed gold with Australia's Jacob Birtwhistle second and Scotland's Marc Austin claiming a surprise bronze medal.

Commonwealth triathlons consist of of a 750m open-water swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km run.

Double Olympic champion Alistair, a member of Bingley Harriers along with Jonny, led after the transition from bike to run but quickly dropped back down the field.

He said: "About three quarters of it went all right. I knew I was going to struggle on the run and I was downplaying my chances. I've only run a handful of times in the last month or so.

"The last few weeks has been making sure the calf is all right to make sure I could get round properly.

"The swim and bike went well and I was just trying to pull that gap out as much as possible to give Jonny the best chance. It was a shame it didn't work out for him."

Former Bradford Grammar School pupil Jonny added: "It was pretty terrible today. I didn't feel great. I've had ups and downs and I was injured in January so I missed a lot of training but I thought I was going to be better than that.

"I dived in and felt pretty weak on the swim and then I'm normally one of the strongest on the bike but I didn't feel great. Then I started running and thought 'oh dear, I'm in trouble here.'

"I knew Henri was in good shape and my first thought was 'I wish I was fit' because I would have gone with him.'

"I had a stress response in my femur at the start of January so I didn't run for five or six weeks. I'm trying to get my injuries out of the way now."

Scotland's Austin came 22nd in Glasgow four years ago but felt he could succeed in Australia.

He said: "I was obviously scared to dream about that kind of thing because it's way beyond what I've done before but I knew I was capable of it. I thought, 'I could beat the Brownlees here'."

The Brownlees, from Bramhope, are due to compete in the team event on Saturday.

Jessica Learmonth won England's first medal of the Commonwealth Games after claiming triathlon silver.