Home A Column By Len Johnson

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.

About the only English people feeling less than devastated about England’s World Cup exit are the people staging England’s World Cup this weekend (14-15 July). How’s that, you ask. Well, England lost in football’s World Cup semi-finals to Croatia and won’t be further involved, the third/fourth place playoff aside. Instead...
Not even the internet had heard of teenage Australian sprinter Jake Doran before he ran 10.15 for 100 metres in Finland last Sunday (1 July). Even once Doran had run that time – an Australian U20 record, second-fastest in the world this year by an U20 eligible athlete my internet...
What’s that sound you hear? Well, if you’re anywhere near a national federation’s high performance unit it could be the sound of numbers crunching. The IAAF is moving to a new system of qualifying for the world championships and, assuming the IOC is totally on board with it, presumably the...
A column by Len Johnson Asbel Kiprop decides not to continue his quest to prove his innocence of an alleged doping infraction and suddenly all’s well in the war against doping. Except, of course, it really isn’t, the case exposing worrying flaws in the system and, publicly at least, glossing over...
I’ll never get to see Hayward Field, or the Hayward Field of my vicarious memory, at least. If I get there for the 2021 world championships it will be to a totally new facility. No stomping feet on the wooden steps of the famous East Stand. For those of us...
Performances often tend to bunch up around a perceived barrier, the men’s four-minute mile being the most famous historical example. As we see the increased number of performances approaching the barrier, there is a tendency to assume one athlete will inevitably crash through it. Let’s call it the clump theory. Of...
A column by Len Johnson | Runner's Tribe All weeks have seven days, but some weeks seem to cram more in than others. The last week of May, 2018 was one such week. It began with Linden Hall setting an Australian record for 1500 metres at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League...
Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Whenever my gaze is drawn to what, in the circumstances, might be called the ‘wrong’ side of our microwave, I find John Stanley, Chris Wardlaw and Dave Fitzsimons looking back at me. Surprisingly, perhaps, the images of these three distinguished Australian distance runners of the 1970-80s...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe Down here in Melbourne we’re yet to get our feet wet, but winter season’s already here. Rain is falling as I write, so the first muddy cross-country race can’t be too far away – maybe as close as the 12km cross-country next weekend...
A column by Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe Next year’s world championships in Doha will feature another Breaking 2 event. Not two hours this time, but two days. To ameliorate the brutally hot conditions of a Persian Gulf summer, the two marathons will start at midnight. OK, that’s actually not two separate...
                                 
X