Paris, France: Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba has every chance of capping his spectacular season with the IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2018 award after the 400m hurdler was among the five finalists for the top honour.
Samba, the world lead and unbeaten in nine finals at 400m hurdles, set the world’s quickest time since 1992 as he produced one of the greatest ever seasons by a 400m hurdler.
All nine of his performances in finals were inside 48 seconds, while his fastest time – an Asian record of 46.98, achieved in Paris – made him just the second man in history to better 47 seconds.
The 23-year-old won gold medals in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m at the Asian Games and capped his season with victory at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018.
Samba will be joined by world's fastest marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge, world decathlon record holder Kevin Mayer, the quickest person over 60m indoors American Christian Coleman and European pole-vault champion Armand Duplantis from Sweden.
The contenders for the women's prize were announced a day earlier with Kenya's 3000m steeplechase world record holder Beatrice Chepkoech, 100m European champion in Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, Colombia's Diamond League long and triple jump title holder Caterine Ibarguen, the Bahamas' 200m Diamond League gold-medallist Shaunae Miller-Uibo and European heptathlon champion in Belgian Nafissatou Thiam all included.
The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Monaco on December 4 after voting from the IAAF's Council, IAAF members and the public.
Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim had won the award in 2017 after putting up one of the most consistent and dominant performances.