FRANCIS NAALI fulfilled the prophesy of his late brother that he, the youngest, would be the best of the family's four runners. Naali, from Tanzania, outlasted a ferocious pack to win the Commonwealth marathon yesterday with a time of 2hr 11min 58sec. He had never run the distance before.

Elder brother Simon was third in the 1990 Games marathon, behind Douglas Wakiihuri; another brother, Thomas, was third in London two years later; and a third, Egbert, was a 61:30 half marathon runner.

Simon, then the most successful, helped out his brothers and local athletes by giving them running shoes, but he died after having been hit by a car eight years ago. His head injuries were not thought to be particularly serious, but in Tanzania there is one doctor to 10,000 patients. Simon's care was inadequate, and he died two days later.

Simon Pride, from Fochabers, suffered in the high humidity, finishing sixteenth in 2:23.56. He was third British finisher, behind Dominic Bannister (2:19.31) and Stuart Hall (2:19.53), who were running for England. Hall sought selection by Scotland on parental qualifications, but opted for England when the chance arose.

The 36-year-old Pride said: ''I was completely knackered. I found it very humid, and suffered from cramp in my backside. I am certainly thinking about retirement.''

Australia uniquely swept all three medals in the women's race, led by Kerryn McCann, who won by almost five minutes with 2:30.05. Krishna Stanton was second (2:34.52), followed by Jackie Gallagher in 2:36.37.

Gallagher has gold and silver medals from the world triathlon championships.

doug gillon