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.

Journalists everywhere love a cliché. Each well-worn phrase (see what I did there?) represents a few precious words of the 600-or-so length of most stories that they don’t have to think of for themselves. The more sophisticated practitioners disguise their superfluity by a ready resort to adjectives. Sports journalists are...
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe The most unexpected of many coincidences and surprises surrounding the launch of The Landy Era back in 2009 was the appearance of Billy Mills. My book had already enjoyed the benefit of several twists of good fate, chiefly in being ready for launch at the...
Zurich’s fabled Weltklasse meeting has often been dubbed “the Olympics in one day.” It’s a fair call. Usually staged within a week of the conclusion of the year’s major championships – Olympic, world or European – Zurich re-packages the just concluded championship as three hours’ non-stop action. The champions can...
A COLUMN BY LEN JOHNSON The theory of running rounds is that the best eight, 12 or 15 runners make the final. The cream rises to the top, so they say. But are there too many clots being pulled up with the cream. Two thoughts occurred to me about the track events...
Universality. In the long and endless deliberations about the new qualification system for Olympic Games and world championships, who knew about the universality clause.
A column by Len Johnson - Runner's Tribe I don’t know if the crack of Wayde Van Niekerk’s anterior cruciate ligament rupturing was heard all the way around the world, but it certainly reverberated from Cape Town at least as far as Queensland’s Gold Coast. At one stroke, Van Niekerk tore...
This time last year – 12 March, 2020, to be precise - Georgia Griffiths ran 2:01.43 for 800 metres to beat national record holder Catriona Bisset, 2:01.54, by less than a step, with Linden Hall a further step back in third in 2:01.73. Madeleine Murray and Gigi Maccagnini were a...
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...
how then to assess athletics in 2021. There were good things and bad things to be sure and good and bad monarchs still run the sport. But was 2021 a good year, a bad year, or a first taste of some new normal.
Canberra delivers fast footwork | A Column By Len Johnson A little bit of fancy footwork is always handy in Canberra, the nation’s political capital, where agility and nimbleness were highly prized long before the current incumbent moved into the prime ministerial office. If the politicians weren’t admiring of the performances...
                   

Brilliantly

SAFE!

2022