The three world record holders are joined as finallists by Armand Duplantis and Abderrahman Samba.

World record holders Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya, Kevin Mayer of France, and Christian Coleman of USA are among the five finalists for the 2018 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year award.

The other nominees, announced by athletics' governing body, are pole vault European champion Armand Duplantis of Sweden and Asian Games 400m hurdles gold medallist Abderrahman Samba of Qatar.

As with the women's finallists, the five men were shortlisted by a three-way vote (IAAF Council, 'IAAF Family', fans) and one of them will succeed last year's winner Mutaz Barshim.

The male and female World Athletes of the Year will be named at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 on 4 December in Monaco.

Kenya's pride

Kipchoge had a memorable season.

The 34-year-old won the London Marathon in April, and five months later set the new world record in Berlin with the time of 2:01:39.

Kipchoge smashed the previous world mark by 78 seconds, the biggest improvement on a men's marathon world record since 1967.

The Rio 2016 gold medallist is looking to become the second Kenyan athlete to win the award after 800m record-holder David Rudisha in 2010.

Eliud Kipchoge celebrates on the podium after winning the 2018 Berlin marathon
Eliud Kipchoge celebrates on the podium after winning the 2018 Berlin marathon

Bouncing back

On the same day as Kipchoge's feat, 16 September, Mayer bounced back from a medal-less European Championships to record a sensational world record in the decathlon.

At the annual meeting in Talence, the Frenchman scored 9,126 points to beat Ashton Eaton's previous mark of 9,045 from 2015.

The reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist also won heptathlon gold at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham early this year.

Last month he was named European Athlete of the Year.

Sprint King

Coleman again proved himself as one of the fastest men in the world.

The American sprinter set the 60m world record in Birmingham to win the indoor title.

The 22-year-old was also Diamond League champion in the 100m.

Christian Coleman won the last 100m Diamond League event in Brussels
Christian Coleman won the last 100m Diamond League event in Brussels

The rise of Mondo

In 2018 'Mondo' Duplantis had his major breakthrough at senior level.

The 19-year-old claimed the European pole vault title in Berlin with the world leading height of 6.05m.

He became the youngest pole vaulter to pass the 6-metre barrier.

In March, the Swedish athlete was also crowned under-20 world champion for the first time in Tampere, Finland.

Duplantis posted a total of eight U20 records over the season.

Armand Duplantis celebrates at the European Championships in Berlin
Armand Duplantis celebrates at the European Championships in Berlin

Unbeaten

Samba was unbeaten through the year in the 400m hurdles.

Qatar's Mauritania-born runner also became the second athlete in 26 years to break the 47-second barrier.

In 2018 he won two golds at the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang and sealed the IAAF Continental Cup.

Samba celebrates 400m hurdles gold medal at 2018 Asian Games
Samba celebrates 400m hurdles gold medal at 2018 Asian Games

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