Henri Schoeman out-raced England's Brownlee brothers to take triathlon gold. Photo: Reuters

GOLD COAST – South Africa's Henri Schoeman upstaged triathlon's all-conquering Brownlees with Commonwealth Games gold as the English brothers were left trailing on Thursday.

Schoeman, third behind Alistair and Jonny Brownlee at the 2016 Olympics, seized control on the running leg to win it in 52 min 31sec, seven seconds ahead of Australia's Jacob Birtwhistle.

Scotland's Marc Austin took bronze while Jonny Brownlee dropped back to finish seventh and Alistair Brownlee, who had hip surgery last August, was 10th.

In the women's event, world champion Flora Duffy claimed gold for tiny Bermuda and Canada's Joanna Brown took bronze just a month after breaking her shoulder in a bike crash.

Duffy, the 2016 and 2017 world title-winner, stormed to victory in 56:50 to end Bermuda's 20-year Games medal drought and become the islands' first female medallist.

The 30-year-old, who will also compete in mountain biking, powered away on the 5km run to win by 43 seconds from England's Jessica Learmonth, with Brown coming in five seconds later.

Nineteen gold medals are up for grabs on the opening day of the Games, which feature more than 4,000 athletes from 71 nations and territories.