Marathon world record holder Eliud Kipchoge is among the nominees ©Getty Images

World record holders Eliud Kipchoge and Kevin Mayer are among the five nominees for the 2018 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Male Athlete of the Year award.

Thirty-four-year-old Kenyan Kipchoge, the Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist, smashed the previous marathon world record by a towering 78 seconds in Berlin in September, five months after winning this year's London Marathon.

He clocked 2 hours 1min 39sec in the German capital to eclipse the previous mark of fellow Kenyan Dennis Kimetto, who ran 2:02:57 at the same race in 2014.

This was the biggest improvement on a men’s marathon world record since 1967.

Frenchman Mayer sensationally recorded a world record in the decathlon on the same day as Kipchoge's heroics - September 16. 

He tallied an amazing 9,126 points at the annual meeting in Talence to move past American Ashton Eaton's previous mark of 9,045, set in 2015.

Mayer, the reigning world champion and Olympic silver medallist, also won the heptathlon at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham this year.

American Christian Coleman, Sweden's Armand Duplantis and Qatar's Abderrahman Samba are also in the running for the award.

Kevin Mayer is the decathlon world record holder ©Getty Images
Kevin Mayer is the decathlon world record holder ©Getty Images

Sprinter Coleman won the 60 metres title at the World Indoor Championships, and the IAAF Diamond League title over 100m.

Nineteen-year-old Duplantis won the European pole vault title with a world leading clearance of 6.05m in Berlin, and was also crowed as world under-20 champion in Tampere.

Samba won gold in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay titles at the Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, and also won the IAAF Continental Cup.

The Mauritania-born athlete set the world's quickest time since 1992 this year, 46.98.

The finalists were decided by a three-way voting process.

The IAAF Council and the "IAAF Family" cast their votes by email, while fans voted online.

The Council's vote counted for 50 per cent of the result, while the IAAF Family's votes and the public votes each counted for 25 per cent of the final result.

The women's shortlist was announced yesterday.

Winners will be announced at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2018, on December 4 in Monaco.