Verna Johnston grew up on a small farm in Dangin, about 120 miles from Perth. She came to the fore at the 1950 British Empire Games, when she won a bronze in the 100 yards and gold medals in the 440 yard (110/220/110, with Marjorie Jackson and Shirley Strickland) and 660 yard (220/110/220/110, with Marjorie Jackson, Shirley Strickland, and the non-Olympian Ann Shanley) relays. She also competed that year in the long jump, finishing fourth, and the 220 yards, placing fifth. Johnston had just missed out making the 1948 team when she finished second in the 1948 Australian long jump championship, but only one athlete was taken to London for that event. She was also 1952 Australian champion in the long jump. In 1952 Johnston ran on two world-record setting relay teams. In a test match at the White City Stadium in London in July, she ran the second leg as Australia recorded 46.9 for 4×110 yard relay, while in a heat at the Olympics, the same foursome recorded 46.1 for a 4×100 metre relay world record. Johnston retired in 1953 after being diagnosed with mononucleosis (glandular fever).
Personal Bests: 100y – 10.9 (1950); 100 – 12.2 (1951); 200 – 24.4 (1952); LJ – 5.93 (1952).
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Women's 4 × 100 metres Relay||Australia||AUS||5|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Women's Long Jump||Australia||AUS||8|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||AUS||Round One||Heat One||1||QU/WR||46.1||46.22|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Final Round||8||5.74|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Final Round||Round One||10||5.51|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Final Round||Round Two||10||5.60||5.60|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Final Round||Round Three||NP||5.74||5.74|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Qualifying Round||10||QU||5.58|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Qualifying Round||Group A||3||5.58|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Qualifying Round||Group A Round 1||AC||foul|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Qualifying Round||Group A Round 2||3||5.58||5.58|
|1952 Summer||22||Helsinki||Athletics||Australia||Qualifying Round||Group A Round 3||DNS||pass|