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Thursday, June 20, 2024

New professional monitor league to supply $12.6 million in prize cash

4-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson has introduced the launch of Grand Slam Monitor (GST), an expert monitor league designed to carry collectively the world’s finest sprinters and distance runners for 4 marquee meets in 2025, just like tennis and golf. This revolutionary league goals to raise the game by offering a novel platform for the world’s finest athletes to compete and shine.

“We’re excited to launch this new platform for the planet’s biggest racers on this sport all of us love,” Johnson mentioned in a press launch. “We’re revolutionizing the monitor panorama, permitting our sport to stay on the forefront of the sporting world year-round, and pushing our celebrity racers to interrupt new floor of their private storytelling, aggressive success, and marketability. Grand Slam Monitor goes to take our sport to new heights, and we would like you to come back alongside for the journey.”

The Grand Slam Monitor league additionally made an enormous splash by saying their first athlete, 400m hurdles Olympic champion and world file holder Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone. Within the press launch, Mclaughlin-Levrone mentioned she’s honoured to be the primary athlete in Grand Slam Monitor. “Michael’s imaginative and prescient is evident, and he’s precisely the chief this sport wants to interrupt new floor. I’m thrilled to be part of this league and sit up for every little thing now we have coming sooner or later. I firmly consider that that is the step ahead that monitor must take it to a different degree.”

What you must learn about Grand Slam Monitor

The league will start subsequent yr, and can observe an analogous construction to skilled golf and tennis, that includes a collection of 4 main occasions in its inaugural season. One occasion can be in Los Angeles (the house of the 2028 Olympics), one other American metropolis, and two extra abroad (which haven’t but been introduced). The league will characteristic 96 of the world’s prime monitor athletes, divided into two teams: 48 racers and 48 challengers. There are six occasion classes at every slam, with athletes having to do two races, making certain a various vary of competitors. One other huge change would be the racing format: this league goals to ship a pure racing expertise by eliminating rabbits (pace-setters) and tempo lights. Athletes will compete with out bibs, to boost recognition and branding.

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone U.S.
Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone was the primary of 48 athletes introduced for the Grand Slam Monitor league. Photograph: Kevin Morris

Every slam will supply a considerable prize of $100,000 to the winner, with money awards extending right down to eighth place. Over its first season, the league will distribute $12.6 million in prize cash.

The imaginative and prescient

Johnson has lengthy criticized the dearth of marquee head-to-head matchups in monitor and discipline on account of inadequate monetary incentives. “It’s offering the followers and the athletes what they’ve been asking for,” Johnson mentioned. “I believe there’s an actual alternative right here. They’re pissed off at an all-time degree with the game, on the elite degree, the best way it’s been during the last couple of years the place they’re not compensated and acknowledged for his or her super expertise.”

The Grand Slam Monitor league plans to signal 48 athletes, generally known as “GST Racers,” to contracts, and use look charges to carry one other 48 athletes, “GST Challengers,” to every meet. Athletes will compete in classes comparable to a short-sprint group operating 100 and 200 metres over a weekend, for prime prizes and elevated visibility.

Cordell Tinch
Photograph: Kevin Morris

The league has secured greater than $30 million in monetary commitments and funding from Winners Alliance, the business arm of the Skilled Tennis Gamers Affiliation (PTPA) co-founded by tennis legend Novak Djokovic. The league’s title, Grand Slam Monitor, goals to evoke the status of tennis and golf’s main tournaments, providing a standout collection of occasions amid the yearly monitor and discipline schedule.

Although Johnson has lengthy been important of monitor’s world administration, he sees his league as a disruptor and  enhancer of the game. Current developments in monitor and discipline, comparable to World Athletics’ plan to award $50,000 to Olympic gold medalists and the launch of the Final Championship in 2026, point out a rising recognition of athletes’ worth.

World Athletics proclaims new final championship occasion in 2026

Johnson, who stays deeply concerned within the sport as a BBC analyst, believes now could be the right time to launch GST. “I’m motivated by the truth that that is the opportune time to do it,” he mentioned. “The world is searching for one thing like this in order that we are able to step into that void.”

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