With just one week to go before voting for the 2018 World Athletes of the Year concludes, here’s a closer look at this year's men’s and women’s nominees in the middle and long-distance events.
Beatrice Chepkoech stunned the athletics world when she smashed the steeplechase world record at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, clocking 8:44.32 to take eight seconds off the previous mark.
The Kenyan distance runner won seven of her eight steeplechase races, including the IAAF Continental Cup, African Championships and IAAF Diamond League final. Earlier in the year she won the IAAF World Indoor Tour at 1500m and took silver in that event at the Commonwealth Games.
Timothy Cheruiyot recorded world-leading marks of 3:28.41 for 1500m and 3:49.87 for the mile, winning nine of his 11 races at those distances.
The Kenyan middle-distance runner won at the IAAF Diamond League final and picked up silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and African Championships.
Sifan Hassan broke the European 5000m record with 14:22.34 in Rabat and went on to win the European title in that event one month later. She set another European record in September, clocking 1:05:15 to win the Copenhagen Half Marathon.
The Dutch distance runner ran world-leading times of 4:14.71 for the mile and 8:27.50 for 3000m, the latter when winning at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. Earlier in the year she earned 1500m bronze and 3000m silver at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018.
Eliud Kipchoge cemented his status as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time by winning the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:39, smashing the world record by 78 seconds. It is the biggest improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.
It was the Kenyan’s second big city marathon triumph of the year, following his victory at the London Marathon in April. Up against a formidable field, Kipchoge won by 32 seconds in 2:04:17, the second-fastest winning time ever at the London Marathon.
Emmanuel Korir won all but one of his races this year. He started 2018 by clocking a world-leading African indoor record of 1:44.21 in what was his only indoor race of the year. He went on to produce the fastest outdoor time of the year too, winning at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London in 1:42.05, the world’s fastest 800m performance since 2012.
The Kenyan won at the IAAF Diamond League final and at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018. He also recorded a 400m PB of 44.21, putting him sixth on the world list in that event.
Caster Semenya doubled up at three of her biggest competitions of the year. She won the 800m and 1500m titles at the Commonwealth Games as well as the 400m and 800m gold medals at the African Championships. She won the 800m at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 and finished second in the 400m.
The South African was unbeaten in her nine 800m finals this year and set a world-leading PB of 1:54.25, putting her fourth on the world all-time list. She also set PBs of 49.62 for 400m, 2:30.70 for 1000m and 3:59.92 for 1500m.
A three-way voting process will determine the finalists.
The IAAF Council and the IAAF Family will cast their votes by email, while fans can vote online via the IAAF's social media platforms. Individual graphics for each nominee will be posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram this week; a 'like' on Facebook and Instagram or a retweet on Twitter will count as one vote.
The IAAF Council’s vote will count for 50% of the result, while the IAAF Family’s votes and the public votes will each count for 25% of the final result.
Voting for the Male World Athlete of the Year closes on 13 November. At the conclusion of the voting process, five men and five 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 Athletics Awards 2018.