Jamaica’s Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Shelly Fraser Pryce are up for the top male and female athletes of the year and are the only finalists from the Caribbean among those vying to be named International Athletics Association Foundation Male and Female World Athlete of the Year.
Lightning Bolt has won the World Athlete of the Year title four times and this year is again in the top three favored to win.
He is up against Britain’s long distance runner Mo Farah and Ukrainian high-jumper Bohdan Bondarenko.
Topping the three female favorites, Jamaica’s ‘Pocket Rocket’ heads the field of talented women.
In addition to her Olympic triumphs, Fraser-Pryce matched Bolt winning three gold medals at the World Championships in Moscow last August. She also topped the Diamond League winning both the 100 metres and 200 metres races.
If she wins, Jamaica can count two female winners to their already prestigious collection of IAAF champions. Legendary track superstar and Olympian Merlene Ottey won the award in 1990.
The two contenders beneath Fraser-Pryce are current 400-metre hurdles world champion Zuzana Hejnova of Czech Republic and four-time shot put world champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand.
Adams is the first woman to win four consecutive individual titles at the world track and field championships. She won in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013.
Decided by directors, ambassadors, athletes’ representatives, IAAF staff members and top athletes winners will be announced live on stage during the 2013 World Athletics Gala in Monaco Nov. 16.