Cuban Dayron Robles Candiate for IAAF World Athlete Award

Robles, 21, was included in the male candidates list along Jamaican Usain Bolt and Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, reported Granma newspaper this Tuesday. Ethiopian Tirunesh Dibaba, Russian Yelena Isinbyeva and Kenyan Pamela Jelimo are the top women's contenders.

The selection takes place by a voting of the IAAF members and among fans from around the world via the Internet. Usain Bolt, winner of three gold medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics (100, 200 and 4×100 meters) all in world record times, is the big favorite among the men, while the choice of the top female athlete is considered a toss up.

Besides the top three candidates in each category, the IAAF also announced the other members of the top ten most voted. Among the men were: Irving Saladino (Panama), Haile Gebrselassie (Ethipoia), Samuel Wanjiru (Kenya), Andreas Thorkildsen (Norway), Bryan Clay (USA), LaShawn Merritt (USA) and Andrey Silnov (Russia).

The other seven women were Veronica Campbell-Brown (Jamaica), Melaine Walker (Jamaica), Valerie Vili (New Zealand), Barbora Spotakova (Czech Republic), Blanka Vlasic (Croatia), Gulnara Galkina-Samitova (Russia)