Monte Carlo - Sanya Richards could cap a golden season with the athlete of the year award as the United States 400 metres runner is on the final shortlist of the women's ballot.
Richards won the world title in Berlin and also shared the Golden League jackpot of $1 million with Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva and Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele.
Isinbayeva is also on the list published by the ruling body IAAF on Tuesday. She raised her world record yet again to 5.00m indoors and 5.06m outdoors this year but also famously no-heighted at the IAAF World Championships.
The other three women on the shortlist are two-time world champions Valeri Vili of New Zealand (shot put) and Blanka Vlasic of Croatia (high jump), as well as Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk, who took gold at the world championships with a world record 77.96m.
The winner of the poll conducted among the IAAF family, the media and fans will be announced on November 22 at the World Athletics Gala.
The men's shortlist was published on Monday. It features Bekele, sprint superstar Usain Bolt of Jamaica and his American rival Tyson Gay, Norwegian javelin thrower Andreas Thorkildsen and Australian pole vaulter Steven Hooker.