A Column By Len Johnson

Len Johnson wrote for The Melbourne Age as an athletics writer for over 20 years, covering five Olympics, 10 world championships and five Commonwealth Games. He has been the long-time lead columnist on RT and is one of the world’s most respected athletic writers. He is also a former national class distance runner (2.19.32 marathon) and trained with Chris Wardlaw and Robert de Castella among other running legends. He is the author of The Landy Era.

A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe There were two gongs for athletics at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame dinner in Melbourne this week. Raelene Boyle was elevated to Legend of Australian Sport status and Steve Hooker was admitted to the Hall of Fame. They don’t admit mugs to...
'Ravelo' - one of two of a kind A Column By Len Johnson Published 15-10-2016  Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa, who died on 27 September, was one of only two of a kind. He was the first man to win the Stawell Gift off scratch, a feat that has been emulated since by Josh...
  Thirty-six years after Dave Smith and Tim Erickson should have been Olympic teammates, their sons Dane Bird-Smith and Chris Erickson will be. Bird-Smith and Chris Erickson have long since joined their fathers in representing their country in international competition, but Rio 2016 will mark their first appearance as Olympic teammates. Bird-Smith,...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Watching one of the post-world championship Diamond Leagues, something jarred in the commentary. Specifically, it was the introduction to the sprint fields. At one meeting – the Birmingham IDL, I think it was – the announcer kept referring to the competitors as “gold medallists”. Seeing...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Medals are not easy to get at world championships. Australia had to wait till the ninth day of the world championships to get an athlete to the medal ceremony, but when one medal finally arrived, like London’s famous red buses, another was...
A Column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Crikey. No sooner do we write in defence of Matt Centrowitz’s tactics in the Rio Olympic men’s 1500 metres final than we get an Australian championships replete with races run on what we might now call the Centrowitz-Kipyegon model: slow as a...
Why Zatopek remains relevant: A Column By Len Johnson Ron Clarke hailed Emil Zatopek as the greatest distance runner who ever lived, not only for his performances, but also for his personality. Four Olympic gold medals – the 10,000 metres in London in 1948 and the unprecedented, and unequalled, distance treble...
A Column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe  When someone refers to a cat-and-mouse struggle, there is usually only one possible outcome (spoiler alert: it doesn’t end well for the mouse). Especially when it is a marathon, and the ‘cats’ in question are Tirunesh Dibaba and Kenenisa Bekele, both with claims...
A Column By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe The cover of Track & Field News’s December 2017 edition depicts Mutaz Essa Barshim standing on the high jump mat at Zurich’s Weltklasse (and Diamond League final) meeting pointing triumphantly over the bar and out at the reader. On a cover headed, “Our...
                         
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