Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, Kenya's David Rudisha and US hurdler Aries Merritt are in the running for the World Athlete of the Year Award.
Three-time winner Bolt is heavily favoured to claim the accolade for a second-straight year after sweeping the sprint titles at the London Olympics.
The 23-year-old Rudisha, who won in 2010, was nominated after shattering the 800 metres world record in the London final.
Merritt, meanwhile, broke the 110 metre hurdles world record in September following his Olympic triumph in the event.
The International Association of Athletics Federations Monday arrived at the three nominees after their peers were asked to pick from a list of 10 of the year's top athletes.
The winner will be announced in Barcelona on Nov 24.
The women's shortlist is yet to be announced.