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.

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...
The Games have begun – at last. All us track and field fans know that the Olympic don’t really begin until athletics starts next Friday, but sports are being contested and medals being won (including some by Australians. Hooray!). Rio pulled off an opening ceremony which, while avoiding the financial extravagances...
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...
By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe – Reporting from the Gold Coast Back in the early days of Australian television, there was a cartoon character named Tom Terrific. “I’m Tom Terrific, greatest hero ever,” the theme song went. Tom Walsh is the modern day Tom Terrific. A 22.45 metres Games’ record on...
Len Johnson Reporting from the World Champs, London – Runner’s Tribe Note to future event organisers: when you’ve got a program which is fairly light on finals, make sure you finish off with a real barnburner. London 2017 did just that on Monday. The night had just four finals, but it finished...
Tiernan echoes of Melbourne ‘56 A Column By Len Johnson It might be drawing a long bow, but there’s nothing wrong with drawing long bows: when Patrick Tiernan became NCAA cross-country champion last weekend I saw a link going back to the Melbourne Olympic Games 60 years earlier. How so? Well, Tiernan...
Looks Good Enough To Eat My internet search engine (rhymes with poodle) regularly publishes doodles (also rhymes) commemorating various anniversaries. The import of these usually ranges from “I didn’t know that”, through “ho-hum”, to “I didn’t want to know that.” Occasionally, one strikes a chord and a resounding one was hit...
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...
The day I beat Yifter A Column By Len Johnson – Runner’s Tribe The time I beat Miruts Yifter I wasn’t foolish enough to let it come down to a kick. I passed him mid-race. He was walking, which detracts, but only a little, from the fact that I can boast an...
When you can win by losing | A Column By Len Johnson The descriptors applied to selection trials overwhelmingly emphasise the drama. Cut-throat, sudden-death, fourth is the worst possible place – insert your cliché of choice. Seldom is it mentioned that trials, along with heats and qualifying rounds, are one of...
                                 
X