Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva are the leading contenders for the IAAF athlete of the year awards.
Bolt set three world records last year at the Beijing Olympics and broke two of those marks _ in the 100 and 200 meters _ in August at the world championships in Berlin.
Isinbayeva broke her own world record by clearing 5.06 meters at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich in August. Her performance beat the mark of 5.05 she cleared at the Beijing Games a year earlier.
Kenenisa Bekele, Tyson Gay, Steven Hooker and Andreas Thorkildsen are also in the running, as are Sanya Richards, Valerie Vili, Blanka Vlasic and Anita Wlodarczyk.
The winners will be announced on Nov. 22.