Most popular stories of 2021

Here are the articles that have captured your attention the most on our website over the past year.

With athletics largely back in business after the pandemic-hit 2020 season, the AW website has had a busy year. From the Olympics and Paralympics to modest grassroots athletics, has tried to bring you the best event news, features and coverage.

With our experience of publishing a UK based print magazine, most of the visitors to our website are from the UK. Yet these pages have also been visited by millions of people from the United States in particular and beyond during 2021.

We even had website visitors from places like Tokelau, St Barthélemy, and Equatorial Guinea. Track and field fans, it seems, are all over the world.

So what did you like the most?

One thing’s for sure, you love previews. Our ‘who, what and when’ guides are always popular, especially when providing information on big events like the British Olympics in Manchester and the marathon and walking events in Kew Gardens.

Of course, you also benefit from our definitive event coverage. For the Olympics and Paralympics, for example, we’ve covered every track and field event on the schedule in Tokyo, as you can see here.

You also like unusual stories. Jake Smith’s victory in the Cheshire Marathon in April despite his debut as a pacemaker has captured your imagination. Likewise, our exclusive on Jonny Mellor retiring from the Olympic Trials marathon due to gout from compression socks wrinkling while sleeping caught your eye.

Track and field fans despise doping, but they also can’t help but read about it. Our articles on disgraceful sprinters Alex Wilson and Blessing Okagbare, for example, have been very successful.

Like doping, you also crave controversy. There is never a dull moment in athletics, so there have been a lot of these stories on our site in 2021, like Andy Butchart’s contact with sports authorities after podcast comments related to Covid, or Sha’Carri Richardson’s positive cannabis.

Sha’Carri Richardson (Getty)

You love your stats too and a walking performance page went a bit viral during the Olympics and is one of the surprise “hits” of the year.

A few old favorites also managed to make an impact in our most popular 2021 stories. These included an article on how to avoid getting a point and the fastest, slowest parkruns.

Above all, you just love to hear from athletes, whether current or retired. Our in-depth play with the British winners of the 1991 Tokyo 4x400m, for example, has proven to be a predictable success with you. More recently, our interview with the 2004 British 4x100m champions was just as popular this month.

However, they don’t always have to be traditional athletes. Aside from our website, the most popular social media post of the year involved Crumple the duck waddle in the New York Marathon!

Meanwhile our Ask the athlete series – where you, the readers, interview current and former athletes, generated a lot of interest with the Steve Cram interview in particular, getting a lot of views.

The 12 best articles of 2021

In no particular order, here are the top 12 articles on our site in 2021.

The Brussels showdown

Our look at the Women’s Diamond League 200m clash where Christine Mboma went on to defeat Shericka Jackson, Dina Asher-Smith and Sha’Carri Richardson sparked huge interest – CLICK HERE

Christine Mboma (Getty)

Athletes of the Year

The voting page for the AW The Reader’s Choice Athletes of the Year received a lot of clicks and our results page HERE was also very popular.

You went pot for Potter

Beth Potter’s surprise “the fastest 5 km in the world” went viral in April. To read more, click here

Vintage Bolt

Our nostalgic piece on Usain Bolt’s first 100m world record was well received. CLICK HERE to review it.

Keely makes his mark

The most popular play on Keely Hodgkinson didn’t take place during the summer, but rather when she broke a world indoor under-20 record in early 2021. CLICK HERE for more information.

Charlie Purdue’s selection issues

The marathon runner said she felt like she was run over by a bus when selectors kicked her from the team for Tokyo. CLICK HERE for the original story.

Victory at the Thommo trials

Chris Thompson’s inspiring performance in the British Olympic Selection Race for Tokyo was one of our most popular plays of 2021 and will be remembered for a long time. Click here to find out more.

Cross-country skiing legends on the remote debate

Our exclusive on Paula Radcliffe and Zola Pieterse’s thoughts on gender equality was a hot topic at the start of the year. To see it again, CLICK HERE

Olympic predictions for Tokyo

We put our reputation on the line with some bold choices and you clearly enjoyed reading them. CLICK HERE to find out who we tip for the medals.

How to run faster

Our series on “How to Master the Art of…” focused on sprinting and was definitely a winner. CLICK HERE to read our tips.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen wins To run

Throughout the year, you’ve been a little more interested in the Norwegian’s controversial 1,500m indoor victory than in his Olympic or Diamond League victories. Click here to find out why.

Ingebrigtsen wasn’t just popular on our website either. It has proven to be a hit in our monthly print magazine and our YouTube page.

Preview of the U20 World Championships

You usually flock to our articles that set the stage for a big event and our prospect of the big junior event of the year in Nairobi was especially popular. CLICK HERE to review it, with our subsequent coverage found HERE.

For the latest athletics news, event coverage and updates, check out the AW Home Page and our social networks on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

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