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A column by Len Johnson Back in the day, Ireland’s Eamonn Coghlan was known as Chairman of the Boards, a nickname which acknowledged his mastery of indoor track racing. Good enough outdoors to have won the gold medal over 5000 metres at the first world championships in Helsinki in 1983 and...
Women didn’t get to make distance running history. Paternalistic notions about the impact of physical stress on women which, in truth, were too often misogyny disguised as medical science, saw to that. Pheidippedes hijacked the whole marathon myth thing with his “rejoice, we have won,” message to Athens, collapse and...
Angela Tanui and I share one thing in common: we both set out to run the Boston Marathon but neither of us got there. On the whole, though, I’d rather share her 2:17:57 marathon personal best. Seeing Angela’s got the better PB, let’s begin with her story. A couple of...
A column by Len Johnson No doubt about it: ask any athlete what is the biggest thing in an Olympic year – even an Olympic year which wasn’t going to be an Olympic year until the Covid-postponement made it one, and they will almost certainly reply: “the Olympic Games”. Every athlete...
A column by Len Johnson This columnist has always been a big fan of the Rampaging Roy Slaven and H.G. Nelson observation that “too much sport is barely enough”. But, I wonder, what about when five of the world’s biggest marathons – Berlin, London, Chicago, Boston and New York – are...
Marjorie Jackson, who celebrated her 90th birthday on 13 September, was Australia’s first athletics superstar. Our first women’s Olympic gold medallist, our first women’s world record holder, Jackson surged to international recognition with a double in the 100 and 200 metres at the Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games. She would have...
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...
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah share many similarities. Both Jamaican. Both quick-silver fast. Both double-double Olympics champions. And both women may be wind-legal faster than the current world record holder in the 100 metres, though it appears the chance of either of them being thus acknowledged are about zero. How so,...
A couple of years back this writer commented on a couple of precocious performers by name of Armand – then, as now, more commonly known as ‘Mondo’ – Duplantis and Jakob Ingebrigsten. Around the same time another supremely gifted youngster, Selemon Barega, came out of nowhere to become the fourth-fastest...
As the Olympic women’s high jump drew to an absorbing conclusion in Tokyo, somewhere Wilson Kipketer may have been smiling. Australian watchers maybe not so much. Of course, we were passionately barracking for Nicola McDermott as she took the lead at two metres, set a new Australian and Oceania record...
                 

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2022