The final three contenders for this year’s Golden Track awards have been revealed.
The men in contention for the prestigious award – which will be presented at a televised gala evening in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on Saturday 14 October – are (in alphabetical order) Ramil Guliyev, Kevin Mayer and Johannes Vetter.
All three won gold medals at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 and had outstanding seasons. A brief profile appears below.
The four women on the shortlist are: Mariya Lasitskene, Ekaterini Stefanidi, Nafissatou Thiam and Anita Wlodarczyk.
Like their male counterparts, this quartet all won world titles in August.
Unusually, there are four women on the shortlist owing to a tie in the voting. The voting for the original 10 nominees in each category was concluded on Tuesday 26 September.
The winning athletes will be decided by votes from the fans, media, European Athletics Member Federations as well as an expert European Athletics panel, with the results from each group of voters counting for one quarter of the athlete's final score.
- Ramil Guliyev (TUR) won 200m gold at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 in 20.09, coming home ahead of a classy field that including world and Olympic 400m champion and world record-holder Wayde van Niekerk. Guliyev won five of his seven races over 100m and 11 of his 12 races over 200m.
- Kevin Mayer (FRA) proved himself to be the best male multi-event exponent in the world by winning two major gold medals in 2017. At the European Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 2017, he set a European heptathlon record of 6479 points to move to second on the world all-time lists. He then took the world decathlon title in the summer with a world-leading 8768, securing victory by over 200 points.
- Johannes Vetter (GER) had a remarkable summer with the javelin. He reached 94.44m in Lucerne in July, a throw which put him in sight of Jan Zelezny’s world record of 98.48m back set in 1996, and at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 he went out to 89.89m to claim the first major international championship title. Six days after claiming gold in London, Vetter also threw 93.88m.
Mariya Lasitskene (RUS) had an extraordinary year in which she went unbeaten in 24 competitions. Competing as an Authorised Neutral Athlete, Lasitskene retained her high jump title at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 by clearing 2.03m and, a few weeks later, she was crowned the IAAF Diamond League champion in Brussels after a summer in which she improved her personal best to 2.06m in Lausanne.
- Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE) showed she is a pole vaulter for all seasons. Twelve months on from Olympic and European glory, she became the world champion in London by going over at a world-leading mark of 4.91m. It had already been great year for Stefanidi, having won gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships Belgrade 2017 with 4.85m. She didn’t lose a single competition outdoors in 2017 in a season culminating with the IAAF Diamond League title in Brussels.
- Nafissatou Thiam (BEL) rubberstamped her authority on the multi-events in sensational fashion this year. She won the world heptathlon title in London with 6784 points but not before the greatest performance of her career in May when she won in Gotzis with a personal best of 7013 to move to third on the world all-time lists. Thiam began her season by winning the European indoor pentathlon title in Belgrade with a world-leading 4870 points.
- Anita Wlodarczyk (POL) won the eighth major gold medal of her career this summer when she clinched her third world hammer title with 77.90m, one of two throws further than anyone else managed in 2017. Having improved her world record last year to 82.98m, she threw a world-leading 82.87m in Cetniewo in July and, with 12 straight wins, she finished the year unbeaten for the third season in a row.