Usain Bolt heads Male Athlete of the Year shortlist

Usain Bolt headlined the shortlist for the 2012 IAAF Male Athlete of the Year – but there was no place for double Olympic champion Mo Farah.

Bolt dismissed doubts over his form and fitness at London 2012 by sweeping to gold in both the 100 metres and 200m. He then played a key role as Jamaica smashed the world record in the 4x100m.

Bolt was one of three candidates still standing after the 10-man shortlist named last month was whittled down to three.

Aries Merritt and David Rudisha are also in contention with both men having a fine 12 months.

American Merritt clinched gold in London in the 110m hurdles and then smashed the world record with a blistering run of 12.80 seconds in the second of two Samsung Diamond League finals in Brussels in September.

Rudisha also achieved an Olympic gold and world record double.

The Kenyan blitzed the field in the final of the 800m at the Olympic Stadium in Stratford to cruise to victory in a best-ever time of 1:40.91.

Farah was cut from the expanded list despite an emotional summer of success.

The Somali-born star first landed the 10,000m and then rode a tidal wave of support to clinch the 5000m title the following Saturday.

The winner of the 2012 award will be announced during the IAAF’s Centenary Celebrations in Barcelona on November 24.

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