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IAAF names female World Athlete of the Year finalists

Dafne Schippers

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 28: Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands celebrates after crossing the finish line to win gold in the Women’s 200 metres final during day seven of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015 at Beijing National Stadium on August 28, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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The IAAF women’s World Athlete of the Year finalists have been named, and an American is not among them for a third straight year.

Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers, Ethiopian middle-distance runner Genzebe Dibaba and Polish hammer thrower Anita Wlodarczyk are the three finalists chosen by an international panel of experts from a long list of nine athletes.

The last time a U.S. female athlete was a finalist was in 2012, when Allyson Felix won the award after taking Olympic 200m gold.

Felix won her first World 400m title this year, but Schippers, Dibaba and Wlodarczyk had spectacular seasons.

Schippers captured the World 200m title (in Felix’s absence) and silver in the 100m, a European record in the former and a national record in the latter.

Dibaba and Wlodarczyk broke world records this season -- Dibaba in the 1500m and Wlodarczyk in the hammer throw -- and later captured World titles in those events.

The last European to win the award was Croatian high jumper Blanka Vlasic in 2010. The last African was Ethiopian distance runner Meseret Defar in 2007.

New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams took the award last year.

This year’s men’s finalists will be named Wednesday, according to the IAAF.

MORE: Michael Johnson urges Allyson Felix to double at Rio Olympics

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