Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
28 Feb 2015
4:29 pm

Mokoka, Novela win SA 10km titles

Wesley Botton

Stephen Mokoka outsprinted a quality men's field on Saturday, successfully defending his national 10km title in Pretoria, while Lorraine Novela secured her maiden SA senior crown in the women's race.

Picture Thinkstock

Mokoka, spearheading a full-strength Gauteng North team, used his raw speed to retain his crown in 29:37, crossing the line five seconds ahead of training partner Gladwin Mzazi.

Middle-distance specialist Mthobisi Baloyi, turning out for Athletics Central North West, held off a challenge from SA Cross Country Trials champion Precious Mashele to snatch the bronze medal in 29:49, with Mashele recording the same time in fourth place.

Novela, meanwhile, took advantage of the absence of the majority of the country’s fastest women over the 10km distance to grab the gold medal in 35:34, leading a Central Gauteng clean sweep in the women’s race.

Marathon runner Cornelia Joubert was second in 35:49 and 16-year-old Nicole van der Merwe finished third, a further 22 seconds off the pace.