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.

Easy as 1, 2, 3 – not!  A, B, C It’s easy as 1, 2, 3 As simple as Do-Re-Mi . . . One, two, three: that may be how easy love can be, as the Jackson 5 sang long ago. Selection? Now that’s another thing altogether. Two recent controversies – one in Ireland,...
Grand week of 1500 | A Column By Len Johnson Olympic 1500 metres qualifiers for Jenny Blundell, Ryan Gregson and Luke Mathews – it hardly needs saying that it has been a great week for Australian middle-distance running. In fact, taking into consideration Mathews’s earlier qualifying performance at 800 metres, Melissa...
Chronicler of our sport | A Column By Len Johnson I never formally met Mike Agostini, who died in Sydney on Thursday (12 May), but I consider myself in his debt. The debt is both personal and general. Personal, because my first published piece of journalism was a first-hand account of...
On being no.2 | A Column by Len Johnson Someone observed of Merv Lincoln, who died on 1 May after a long illness, that it was difficult to do him justice as an athlete because you always had to start with the acknowledgment that he was never number one in...
Best marathon ever (except for the others) | A Column By Len Johnson If you think that the quickest marathon is automatically the best marathon, then don’t bother to read further. Save yourself some time. Eliud Kipchoge won the elite men’s division of the London Marathon last Sunday in two hours...
Muddy Waters | A Column By Len Johnson Sometimes when you stir up the water you end up with a nice clear solution. Other times, muddy water just gets muddier. Six months of marathons has delivered what appears to be an obvious selection of the three women to represent Australia in...
Turn up the thermostat | A Column By Len Johnson  As a lawyer, Dick Pound has never been able to resist a pithy summation. A few weeks ago, the current head of WADA was pontificating on Maria Sharapova. Critiquing the Russian tennis star’s defence of the failure by either her, or...
Dreaded Lurgi ends Rio hopes | A Column By Len Johnson Forty years after going to my first Olympic Games I have had to reluctantly accept that I have no chance of making the team for Rio 2016. I arrived in Sydney on Thursday, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and thinking I...
https://youtu.be/ctWRhaUxzzY Class act rewarded | A Column By Len Johnson Cathy Freeman unzipped her body suit and sat down on the track. Sally Pearson let out a scream once her narrow victory had been confirmed. Nathan Deakes dissolved into tears of joy. Rob de Castella, so injury-proof he was nicknamed ‘The Tree’,...
Meb just keeps bobbing up | A Column By Len Johnson I suppose I had seen him earlier, but I first became aware of Mebrahtom Keflezighi when he bobbed up for the silver medal in the Athens 2004 Olympic marathon. Keflezighi, who is the subject of a Runner’s Tribe video interview...
                   

Brilliantly

SAFE!

2022