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.

By Len Johnson reporting from the Gold Coast Standing on the runway for her last throw of the Commonwealth Games javelin competition at Carrara Stadium on Wednesday night, Kathryn Mitchell dissolved into tears. These were tears of joy, however, not those born of the frustration at having to wait so long...
By Len Johnson reporting from the Gold Coast You will find Nick Hough and Alex Hulley side by side in the Australian Commonwealth Games Media Guide, but hands up anyone who expected to find them, if not exactly next to each other, one after the other on the medals’ podium. Stranger...
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...
By Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe - Reporting from the Gold Coast The wild weather which washed out the walking events at the Australian 50km championships in Melbourne at the start of December last year turned out to be a perfect storm for Jemima Montag. The then 19-year-old Montag was down...
RT's lead columnist, Len Johnson is reporting from the Gold Coast during the games for Runner's Tribe and the IAAF.  So hard to walk away - A column by Len Johnson It’s getting harder and harder to walk away these days – either on a temporary basis or into permanent retirement. Sally...
What a week. First cricket, and a ball-tampering scandal which has now resulted in the Australian captain, vice-captain and a hapless junior player facing suspensions and the coach resigning. Second, amidst all the cricket turmoil, came the raising by a senior government minister of the prospect – quickly shut down,...
What is the best performance by an Australian team in a world distance running championship? Close, but no cigar, if you said the bronze medals won by Australian women’s teams in the short race at the 2006 world cross-country championships and at the 2008 world cross-country championship (by which stage,...
Ours is a sport of precision. Following wind 2.00 metres per second – everything hunky-dory: 2.01 m/s – a different story. Run a 1:59:59 marathon on a course measuring 42.195km and you’re a barrier-breaking hero. If the course comes in at 42.194km, it just didn’t happen. Mostly precision is a good...
If one word defined the running career of Roger Gilbert Bannister, it would have to be the number ‘three’. Words came before it in Norris McWhirter’s ‘spontaneous’, rehearsed-in-the-bathtub-the-night-before, announcement of the result of the mile in the Oxford v AAA meeting on 6 May, 1954. Words followed, too, but they...
For quite a few years now, Athletics Australia’s selection policies have offered the selectors wide discretionary powers in considering the third place in any event. For almost all that time, many have advocated the selectors make more use of the discretionary clauses. Now, in picking the Gold Coast 2018 team,...
                             
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