If the law of averages is anything to go by, the male winner of the World Athlete of the Year award later this month will be from the United States, given that it has five of the ten nominees.
But in truth there cannot be any other winner than Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya.
Speaking personally, I disliked the manner in which Kipchoge made athletics history in Vienna last month as he became the first runner to better two hours for the marathon.
This was a challenge rather than a race. An official world record was never going to be created given the use of interchanging groups of aerodynamically placed pacers and drinks and gels constantly on hand, and a lead car beaming down a green laser grid as a time guide, and an absence of any competition.
And there was widespread ambivalence about the fact that this was a commercial opportunity, for the company that manufactured the shoes, and for the petrochemical company that spent a reported £15 million ($19 million/€17 million) – a drop in its corporate ocean – on the overall exercise.
The figure of 1 hour 59min 40.2sec has been achieved, and celebrated. And when another runner comes to better two hours in a proper race the impact of their achievement will have been undermined.
Expediency, and commercial opportunism, have distorted a natural process of athletics progression in one of the most ancient of events.
How would we feel about a similar exercise over 10,000 metres? Or 1,500m? Let us hope we never find out.
But. The runner who has got closest to that landmark time in a proper race is the official world record holder on 2:01:39, set in winning last year's Berlin Marathon – Eliud Kipchoge. A runner who also won this year's London Marathon in the not inconsiderable time of 2:02:37.
And given that he was strapped into the cockpit like some do-or-die test pilot, the pressure on this courteous but very private man was horrendous.
As groups of world class runners worked, very obviously, very hard just to keep up to the required speed for relatively brief periods, the requirement upon the man at the centre of everything was unending.
Human, rather than superhuman, he displayed a few hints of distress two thirds of the way through the course, his face changing to a grin which those who know him well have said denotes distress – he laughs in the face of lactic.
He also veered slightly to one side of the lead runner of the aerodynamic bunch always around him, as if he could somehow veer away from the incessant need to deliver the same stupendous effort.
It was a unique effort, which produced the unique spectacle of an elated Kipchoge sprinting home over the final 200 metres, clear of his final aerodynamic formation dancers, who yelled and encouraged him to the line.
At that point it was an irreducible moment of human co-operation and celebration. A complex achievement – but one which deserves at least one further mark of acknowledgement.
So, for all the flaring sprinting brilliance of Noah Lyles, the superb competitive consistency of pole vaulter Sam Kendricks and triple jumper Christian Taylor, and the indomitable courage of Norway's double world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm, who waded through a season of defeats last year but kept his nerve and honesty and resolve to become victor ludorum in Doha – for all this, Kipchoge's epochal effort should not be denied.
By contrast, the decision over who should walk away with the women's award when the ceremony takes place in Monaco on November 23 is quite impossible to predict.
We have Kipchoge's compatriot Brigid Kosgei, who – in a proper marathon race in Chicago – broke Paula Radcliffe's world record of 2003 with a time of 2:14:04, the day after the two-hour barrier had been broken.
We have Olympic 400m hurdles champion Dalilah Muhammad of the US, who bettered her own world record in running 52.20sec to win the world title in Doha.
What more can any athlete do than that?
We have Britain's Katerina Johnson-Thompson, who earned her first outdoor global heptathlon title in Doha as she defeated Belgium's Olympic, European and defending champion Nafissatou Thiam.
We have Salwa Eid Naser of Bahrain, who produced the third fastest women's 400m time in history as she clocked 48.14 to win the world title over the favourite, Rio 2016 champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas.
We have Sifan Hassan of The Netherlands, who completed a 10,000m and 1,500m double at the World Championships either side of learning that her coach, Alberto Salazar, had been banned for four years by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a series of irregularities.
We have the effervescent Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela, who won the world triple jump title with 15.37m, having jumped 15.41m earlier in the season, the second best ever behind the 1995 leap of 15.50m set by Ukraine's Inessa Kravets.
Take your pick…