News7News 7
HomeSportUS Track and Field Legends Does Justice to Sydney McLaughlin, Noah Lyles & Other Stars After $1 Million Announcement

US Track and Field Legends Does Justice to Sydney McLaughlin, Noah Lyles & Other Stars After $1 Million Announcement

by News7

Track and field has surged into the national spotlight this year, despite financial constraints and limited exposure. However, there seems to be a shift in the landscape with a slew of major announcements involving lucrative financial incentives. A recent example is the Edwin Moses Legends Meet, held on Friday, May 31, and hosted by the prestigious Puma American Track League.

Track and field legend, Moses signed a one-year license for the use of his name for the 2024 meet and now in his honor the American Track League announced an exhilarating development, which involves a million-dollar bonus.

New track and field initiative aim to boost athlete earnings and sport popularityADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Paul Doyle, founder of the American Track League, shared that a million-dollar awaits any 400m hurdles athlete who surpasses Moses’ personal best of 47.02 seconds. Of this staggering sum, $900,000 will go to the athlete, while $100,000 will be awarded to a lucky fan.

One of the highlights of the meet was Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone’s participation. She won her first 400-meter hurdles race in nearly two years, finishing in 52.70 seconds and posting the best time of 2024. However, she did not break Edwin Moses’ record, thus missing out on the bonus.

🗣️ There is a million-dollar bonus for any 400mH athlete that breaks Edwin Moses’ Personal Best of 47.02s. $900,000 for the athlete and $100,000 for a fan.

Paul Doyle- Founder of the American Track League at the Press Conference of the Edwin Moses Legends meet. pic.twitter.com/VNPpKKBojr

— RunBlogRun (@RunBlogRun) May 30, 2024

Nonetheless, her victory and the event itself underscore the growing attention track and field is receiving. The involvement of legends like Michael Johnson, Noah Lyles, and others who are also contributing to the sport’s growth highlights the concerted efforts to make track and field more popular and lucrative for athletes.

In April, Olympic champion Michael Johnson announced the launch of a new track and field league aimed at increasing exposure and earnings for athletes. The retired gold medalist revealed that the league has secured $30 million in funding from investors and strategic partners. Reports from the Sports Business Journal indicated that the league’s opening event will feature a $1 million prize pool, to be divided among contestants and two champions, underscoring the league’s mission to offer greater financial opportunities and visibility for its athletes.

It is set to debut in 2025, and will run from April to September, coinciding with the normal track and field season. With a limited number of events, the series aims to highlight on-track rivalries to attract more fans and boost engagement.

Johnson announced the initiative on social media, expressing his commitment to transforming the sport for both athletes and fans. “Working to change the game for athletes and fans! League details are coming this June,” he wrote on X. But it’s not only him, World Athletics is also striving to enhance the sport for everyone involved.

World Athletics’ Olympics compensation plan sparks debate and dissatisfactionIn April 2024, the governing body of athletics revealed their plan to allocate $2.4 million to compensate the gold medalists across the 48 men’s, women’s, and mixed events at this year’s Paris Olympics track and field program. Each gold medalist will receive $50,000, while members of winning relay teams will share the same amount.

The governing body also announced plans to begin compensating silver and bronze medalists starting with the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. However, Noah Lyles expressed some reservations, stating, “So much new in the track world and only one of them I actually think is positive.” It appears Lyles was critiquing the newly implemented reward system, which marks a significant change but has not met with universal approval.

In related developments, disparities within the sport have led to notable dissatisfaction among other athletes. Sha’Carri Richardson withdrew from the Miramar Invitational, due to alleged pay issues. Furthermore, Kyree King brought attention to his experience of not being paid after a victory in 2022, shedding light on the ongoing issues with how athletes are compensated.

To address these challenges and improve the sport, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, has joined the effort to drive a positive change in athletics.

Alexis Ohanian’s 776 Invitational aims to “elevate profile of female athletes”Alexis Ohanian, husband of Serena Williams and the co-founder of media conglomerate Reddit is set to transform the landscape of track and field by introducing the 776 Invitational, which boasts one of the largest prize purses ever for a single meet in the sport. Scheduled for September, this women-only event promises to offer a substantial financial incentive, with the first-place winner receiving $60,000, the second-place $25,000, and the third-place $10,000.

The modus operandi of the meet is simple and on the nose too. Alexis Ohanian, through his razor-sharp business acumen, opined that –“By investing in women’s track, we aim to elevate the profile of female athletes and create a more inclusive and equitable sporting landscape.”

Gabby Thomas, who also has the honor and chance to collaborate with Ohanian, stated that-“I am excited to partner with forward-thinking organizations like 776 that share our vision for advancing women’s track.” She further exemplified its importance stating that this is bound to benefit the track realm hugely. “Through this investment, we hope to not only provide athletes with the resources and visibility they need to have enduring careers but also to inspire fans worldwide with a reinvented format to experience the best of our sport,” she said.

The exact location and list of competitors remain under wraps, with details to be disclosed before the Paris Olympics. Apart from this, Noah Lyles, too, has left his mark on these impactful changes.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Through the Lyles Brothers Sports Foundation, Noah and Josephus Lyles are deeply committed to nurturing young talent within their community. Their flagship event, the Union Athletics and Lyles Foundation Invitational, offers a unique opportunity for young athletes in the DMV area to showcase their skills and receive mentorship from elite competitors. They set a meet on May 19, 2024, at Clarksburg High School. The meet invited the region’s fastest athletes to compete and interact with Olympian Noah Lyles.

Alongside the excitement of the race, the first 1,000 entrants would receive Adidas merchandise and top performers were awarded medals. More significantly, participants will have the chance to meet Noah Lyles, obtain autographs, and gain invaluable insights, advancing the Lyles brothers’ mission to empower the next generation of track stars. These meets are designed to inspire and equip young athletes with the resources and motivation they need to excel.

Meanwhile, in a recent development, World Athletics has announced the launch of the World Athletics Ultimate Championship. It will include a prize money purse of US$10 million, the largest ever offered in the history of track & field. The gold medallists in the event will walk away with US$150,000.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

All these developments show a landscape of track and field is undergoing significant changes, with legends of the sport driving these transformations to better the field.

This shift highlights that stars like Sydney McLaughlin, Noah Lyles, and Sha’Carri Richardson have many more opportunities to gain recognition and earn substantial prize money. Despite Sydney’s not able to grab the latest opportunity, she, along with her peers, has numerous upcoming events featuring lucrative prize purses, underscoring their continued potential in the sport.

Source : EssentiallySports

You may also like

12345678............................................................................................................................................+