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.

High on the list of races I wish I had run – but, alas, probably never will - is Sweden’s Lindingoloppet. It’s on again this weekend (24 September), so that’s another chance gone by. Like many things Scandinavian, the name is almost boringly literal. Lidingo is an island in the...
Kelsey-Lee Barber has made quite the habit in recent times of ‘gazumping’ her opponents in the javelin, coming up with an unanswerable effort in the final rounds of a competition to snatch a medal, usually of the golden variety. In Doha in 2019, where the air-conditioning kept throwers cool as...
Jakob Ingebrigtsen took most of the headlines on the second day of the Diamond League final. A win over a classy field in a sub-3:30 world lead will tend to do that.
Great track and road runner that she is, Willis is one of those who “grows another leg” when it comes to cross-country.
Watching the men’s 5000 unfold, and the women’s the previous day, caused me to wonder whether track distance athletes have lost the ability to race, to vary their tactics in the search for a winning formula.
If you know a bit about the high jump, you might think that the event changed dramatically when a young American named Richard (‘Dick’) Fosbury won a shock gold medal at the Mexico City 1968 Olympic Games with a revolutionary technique of going over the bar backwards. Fast run-up, 180-degree turn and flop over on your back.
Boxed at 200 metres. Free on the bend. Fourth into the straight with three of the world’s best in full sprint ahead of him, Ollie Hoare produced one of the great come from behind victories to grab the Commonwealth Games 1500 metres gold medal.
There’s three days of Commonwealth Games athletics to go as I write this, but already I think I have my favourite moment. Forget the boringly tedious argument about whether it’s track and field or field and track - it’s just athletics, people – because my top moment of Birmingham 2022...
It was the dust what done it. In Eugene for a few days at the world championships. Arriving in time to just miss Eleanor Patterson’s amazing win in the high jump. But I did get to Pre’s Trail. The wood bark surfaced track around the parklands of Eugene named after its...
One should always pay attention to Track & Field News’ guide to a world championship, but it was the image of the “Welcome to Eugene” sign heading its preview of Eugene 2022 which caught the eye and prompted further thought. Welcome to Eugene. Pop. 171,210 Track Town USA Makes you wonder, and not...