To illustrate my point:
- There has been around four features on Mara Yamauchi in the past 2-3 years. What about the other British female distance runners? The last Pavey one was probably around 2005 and I can't recall any recent features on the Yellings or Clitheroe even Kate Reed (perhaps the most 'intriguing' - for all the wrong reasons - of the Brit female endurance runners).
- Since winning the Commonwealth title in 2006, Nick Willis has been featured around three times now. He's a decent athlete, but not so fascinating that he deserves three features! What did the second and third features tell us that the first one didn't? How about a feature with the enigmatic Rashid Ramzi? Or the up-and-coming Asbel Kiprop? Or the two-time Europ champ Baala?
- A few other athletes seem to have been featured twice in the past year - Tasha Danvers, Tia Hellebaut, Sanya Richards, Blanka Vlasic (her second piece even used the same images - it was almost identical!), etc. Tirunesh Dibaba has been featured two or three times, but has Meseret Defar ever had one feature?
I wouldn't mind the doubling up in interviews if their stories were significantly different between the first and second (and third), but most of the time they're not. And all the time these athletes are getting their second or third feature, there are DOZENS of athletes who are far more interesting and intriguing who have never been featured in AW.
The Lewis Hamilton piece was also a bit odd. It wasn't as disastrous as the free running piece, but it was blatantly clear that it was driven by advertising with all the reebok logos plastered all over it. And it failed to mention Hamilton's most obvious link to athletics - the fact that he was named after Carl Lewis!
The mistakes recently have also been staggering. The "Mutola heading here" was a right clanger, but also there have been loads of wrongly captioned images, wrong times printed (I'm sure one of the recent issues said Bolt's world record was 9.68!). And don't even get me started on the iPod advert fiasco - what a complete farce!
I'm not a subscriber (although I used to be back in the 80s and early 90s), I usually just buy it from WHSmith. But when I pick it up, flick through the contents and see a load of mistakes and repetitive content, then most weeks I just don't bother buying it. I do want to buy it more regularly - after all, it's the only mag of its kind in Britain - but I can only justify doing that if it improves. Come on, AW - what's up with all of this?