Armand Duplantis, Selemon Barega and Jakob Ingebrigtsen are among the five finalists named by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the 2018 Male Rising Star Award.
The 2018 Female Rising Star Award list, including Sydney McLaughlin, Celliphine Chespol and Briana Williams, has also been released.
The winner in this competition to recognise the year’s best under-20 athlete is due to be announced live on stage at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018 that will be held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on December 4.
Sweden’s 19-year-old pole vaulter Duplantis followed his first IAAF Diamond League win in his native Stockholm with victory at the IAAF World under-20 Championships before producing a stupendous performance at the European Championships in Berlin.
He won gold with a height of 6.05 metres that has only been bettered outdoors by Sergey Bubka, the former world record holder.
In the course of the season Duplantis - nicknamed Mondo - set eight world under-20 records or bests, indoors and out.
Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen, 18, also had a year of startling achievement over 1500 and 5,000 metres.
Having won 1500m silver and 5,000m bronze at the World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, he took his running to a new level at the European Championships, winning 1500 and 5,000m titles.
He also finished the season by lowering his 1500m personal best to 3min 31.18sec.
Ethiopian Barega began his year by taking world indoor silver in Birmingham over 3,000m before finishing fourth at the African Championships.
Disappointingly, as defending IAAF World Under-20 champion at 5,000m, he only finished fourth in the final.
But he recovered his fortunes gloriously in the IAAF Diamond League final at Brussels, becoming 5,000m champion in a world under-20 record time of 12:43.02– the world’s fastest time since 2005.
The two other male contenders are Cuba’s Jordan Diaz and Rhonex Kipruto of Kenya.
Diaz, 17, won a silver medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games and gold at the IAAF World under-20 Championships and the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.
He also won the Central American and Caribbean Games and his furthest effort of 17.41m was a world under-18 best.
Kipruto, 18, won the IAAF world under-20 title at 10,000m, where his time of 27min 21.08sec was a world under-20 lead.
All told he set two world under-20 bests and a world senior lead at road 10km with 26:46, just two seconds outside the senior world record.
He also became African junior cross-country champion
America's McLaughlin produced a world junior indoor 400m record of 50.36sec in March, and followed up two months later with an outdoor 400m hurdles mark of 52.75 - a world junior record and the fastest time recorded this year.
The 19-year-old also became National Collegiate Athletic Association champion over the barriers.
Jamaica’s American-born sprinter Briana Williams, coached by multiple world and Olympic sprint medallist Ato Boldon, was a surprise winner of the 100 and 200m titles at the IAAF World under-20 Championships - aged just 16.
She also became Carifta Games under-17 champion at both sprints and the 4x100m.
Kenya’s Chespol, 19, became African senior cross-country champion and also took silver in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast and African Championships.
Her season’s best time of 9:01.82 earned her the IAAF world under-20 title and was the fastest recorded in that age group all year.
Ethiopia has provided the two other contenders.
Meskerem Mamo, 19, took 5,000m bronze in the African Championships and set world under-20 season’s best times over 3,000m and 5,000m with 8:33.63 and 15:05.21 respectively.
Meseret Belete, also 19, set a world under-20 half marathon best with 67min 51sec.
She finished sixth and contributed to team gold at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Valencia and won the Gothenburg half marathon.