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Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, Conselsus Kipruto (3,000m steeplechase), David Rudisha (800m) and Vivian Cheruiyot (5,000m) were named in the list of 10 men and 10 women nominees for the award, which will be handed out in Monaco on December 2, reports Xinhua.
"It came as a big surprise. I had a good season and also won the Diamond League trophy," Kipruto said on Tuesday.
"However, we have other top names that I believe did better and so for me to make this nomination list is a big boost and a challenge for me to work extra hard in the coming season."
The selection was done by an international panel of athletics experts, comprising representatives from all six continental areas of the IAAF.
Top on the list is triple Olympic champion and Jamaican legend Usain Bolt while the women field is led by Ethiopia's Almaz Ayana, winner of the 10,000m gold.
The list has Brazil's Thiago Braz da Silva, Ashton Eaton (USA), Mo Farah (Britain), Omar McLeod (Jamaica), Christian Taylor (USA), Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa).
Those named alongside Ayana and Cheruiyot in the women's part are Ruth Beitia (Spain), Kendra Harrison (USA), Caterine Ibarguen (Colombia), Ruth Jebet (Bahrain), Sandra Perkovic (Croatia), Caster Semenya (South Africa), Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) and Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland).
In a statement, IAAF said they will use the three-way voting process to determine the finalists. The council and the IAAF family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF's social media platforms.
The IAAF council's vote will count for 50 percent of the result, while the IAAF Family's votes and the public votes will each count for 25 percent of the final result.
Voting closes on November 1. At the conclusion of the voting process, three men and three women finalists will be announced by the IAAF.
The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be announced live on stage at the IAAF awards gala in Monaco on December 2.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)