Jonny Brownlee carries bike after crash at Yokohama World Series triathlon

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Jonny Brownlee carries his bike after triathlon crash

Britain's Jonny Brownlee crashed during the bike phase of his first triathlon since collapsing at last year's World Series finale.

Brownlee, who had to be carried over the line by brother Alistair in Mexico, was returning to action in Japan.

He carried his damaged bike a mile to the next transition in Yokohama to take part in the run and finished 42nd.

Spain's Mario Mola won the event, with Bermuda's Flora Duffy earlier winning the women's event.

"My first reaction was to get back on the bike, get back riding," said Brownlee.

"But then I got to my bike and the handlebars were pointing in the wrong direction and I couldn't move it.

"I still wanted to run - I had not come all the way to Japan not to finish."

Gordon Benson and Tom Bishop were the highest-placed British finishers in the men's race in 10th and 11th respectively.

The 2017 series is led by defending champion Mola from fellow Spaniard Fernando Alarza, who was also second to Mola in Japan.

Sophie Coldwell was the fastest Briton in the women's race as she came home fourth, one place ahead of compatriot Vicky Holland. Non Stanford, Jessica Learmonth and Lucy Hall were seventh, eighth and 11th respectively.

Stanford and Learmonth also crashed in the wet conditions but, unlike Brownlee, were able to remount.

In the Para-triathlon races, Britain won three gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes.

Andy Lewis was first in the PTS2 category, and Dave Ellis and his guide Jack Peasgood won the men's visually impaired race, while Alison Patrick and her guide Nicole Walters finished top of the standings in the women's equivalent.

Brownlee shows grit after crash

Brownlee, an Olympic silver medallist at Rio 2016 and a bronze medallist at London 2012, had missed the first two races of this year's World Series - in Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

In wet conditions in Yokohama he veered into the railings on his bike when trying to avoid a rider who had fallen in front of him.

Rather than concede his race was over, Brownlee ran barefoot for the final half-lap of the cycling discipline - about a mile - carrying his bike.

The 27-year-old eventually finished six minutes 56 seconds behind the winner.

"It was going quite well - the swim went really well," he said.

"On that course you want to stay high up in the field to avoid crashes. I was sitting in fourth to avoid crashes, but then an athlete just crashed in front of me.

"I was very, very lucky not to break anything in the crash. I've watched the video back and I could easily have two broken collarbones.

"I'm just disappointed - I come to races to race and I didn't get a chance."

The next race in the series takes place in Leeds, when Yorkshire-born Jonny could be joined by brother Alistair, who is focusing on long-distance triathlons this year.

You can watch highlights of the races on BBC Two from 13:00 BST on Sunday, 14 May.

Jonny Brownlee on Twitter
Brownlee posted a picture of his bike following the race

Brendan Purcell, British Triathlon performance director, added: "The rain caught us by surprise. We were expecting rain, but it got heavier and heavier.

"When the guy went down in front of Jonny, he had nowhere to go. The bike couldn't be fixed, but he wanted to do a run as he feels he's in good form.

"I come away reflecting on the positives from the swim in particular, there were a lot of good performances. No-one had the perfect race, maybe apart from Sophie, but they delivered a set of solid results."

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