Josh Kerr Joins Michael Johnson's New Grand Slam Track League

Josh Kerr joins Michael Johnson’s new Grand Slam Track League

 

The 1500m world champion is the second athlete to sign up to the league alongside Olympic 400m hurdles champion Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone

Not only will we be seeing Josh Kerr test his speed in the 800m at the UK Athletics Championships this weekend (June 29-30) but fans can expect to see a lot more 800m races from him as he has today signed to the Grand Slam Track League.

Josh Kerr

The new league, founded by Michael Johnson, will host four annual Slams in major cities around the world in 2025. Athletes, known as ‘Racers,’ will be assigned to compete in two events during each Slam, and as a celebrated middle-distance runner, Kerr is expected to compete across the 800m and 1500m – although this has not yet been officially confirmed.

Kerr, who broke the two-mile world record indoors this year (8:00.67), is one of 48 contracted athletes who will race at all four Slams. He is the first British and European athlete to commit to the competition after Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone was announced at the league’s launch this month.

“Making this announcement is incredibly exciting for me,” said Kerr. “Grand Slam Track is the future for this sport and I’m buzzing to be the first British Racer signed to the league.

“Getting to work with Michael, a great of the sport, is awesome. He wants to shake things up and change this game for the better. He has put us athletes at the forefront of all his decisions in creating the league.

“I can’t wait to get racing in the Slams and to put on a performance for all track fans around the world. I look forward to facing the best in the world four times a year.”

The focus on the league is to include the fastest and best athletes in each race group, producing fierce rivalries and competitive racing.

A well-known rivalry in the world of athletics is between Kerr and the reigning Olympic 1500m champion, Jakob Ingebrigtsen. Kerr recently beat the Norwegian as he took down Steve Cram’s 39-year-old British mile record at the Prefontaine Classic with 3:45.24 in May. Ingebrigtsen ran 3:45.60 to finish second after an injury-hit winter.

Josh Kerr joins Michael Johnson's new Grand Slam Track League

Josh Kerr (Jan Figueroa)

Although Ingebrigtsen has not yet committed to the Grand Slam Track League, his past comments at the Prefontaine Classic press conference suggests that he agrees with the league’s main focus.

“We all feed off the engagement and enthusiasm, especially from the crowd and the media and everything. If we’re only saving that for one race or two races of the season, the whole point vanishes,” Ingebrigtsen said.

Grand Slam Track will have a total of $12.6m of prize money that will be awarded across the Slams each year in addition to the base compensation and appearance fees paid to racers.

The winner of each Slam group will take home $100,000 in prize money and the eighth place competitor will earn $10,000.

Josh Kerr joins Michael Johnson's new Grand Slam Track League

Michael Johnson (Grand Slam Track)

Los Angeles will serve as the global home for Grand Slam Track, and host one of the Slam events. There will be one further Slam that will take place in the United States and another two in international locations.

“I am excited to announce Josh Kerr as a GST Racer, and add such a talented competitor to our roster,” said Michael Johnson. “Josh will show the world his incredible speed at the Olympics this summer, but we already know he is one of the fastest men on this planet.

“We want to have a diverse, international roster of talent for our four Slams, and having Josh on board is a hugely important announcement for our league.”

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