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Olympic poster girl Ennis nominated for top athletics award

updated 2:03 PM EST, Tue November 6, 2012
Jessica Ennis of Britain proved the golden girl of the Games for the London 2012 hosts.
Jessica Ennis of Britain proved the golden girl of the Games for the London 2012 hosts.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jessica Ennis on short list for IAAF Female Athlete of the Year
  • Britain totaled 6955 points on way to winning heptathlon gold in London
  • Valerie Adams and Allyson Felix also selected
  • Usain Bolt, Aries Merritt and David Rudisha to contest men's honor

(CNN) -- London Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis can crown a superb year by being named World Female Athlete of the Year for 2012.

Ennis, the poster girl of the London Games, swept to victory in the grueling seven event discipline on the middle Saturday as hosts Britain enjoyed a gold rush.

Her efforts and an earlier fine performance at the multi-events meeting in Gotzis, have seen the 26-year-old shortlisted for the top award by the IAAF.

The world governing body has also nominated American sprinter Allyson Felix, who completed a superb 200m and 4x400m relay golden double in London.

Jessica Ennis not in Games for money
UK's Jessica Ennis wins heptathlon gold

Shot putter Valerie Adams of New Zealand is the third athlete on the shortlist.

2008 Olympic champion Adams was awarded a second successive gold after Nadzeya Ostapchuk of the Belarus was stripped of the title following a failed drugs test.

The men's shortlist, announced Monday, also has a star-studded parade of Olympic champions, led by Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who won three golds in London in the sprint events.

He is joined by American hurdler Aries Merritt, the Olympic champion, who also smashed the world record during 2012.

David Rudisha of Kenya, who set a new world record for the 800m on his way to London gold, completed the trio.

The winners of both categories will be announced at the centenary gala dinner of the IAAF in Barcelona on November 24.

The shortlists were decided by a votes cast by a panel of 2,400 people, including officials, coaches and the media.

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