Athlete form through the year has been assessed by an international panel of experts to create rankings based on merit

For the 20th year, Athletics International has collaborated with Athletics Weekly to produce an annual statistical review including world top 10 merit rankings.

The selection panel – consisting of Athletics International co-editors Peter Matthews and Mel Watman, with Stuart Mazdon (UK), Mirko Jalava (FIN), Alfons Juck (SVK), A Lennart Julin (SWE) and Ed Gordon (USA), plus Elliott Denman for walks – assessed the year’s records of the leading contenders and the ranking order was determined by consensus.

The criteria are the traditional ones of honours won, win-loss records and sequence of marks.

With no global senior championship this year, athletes will have had varying targets – with major championships being the Commonwealth Games (CG) and the continental events – Asian and South American Games, African, CAG and NACAC Championships, with, especially for the full-time pros, the Diamond League meetings (with finals at Zürich and Brussels) and World Challenge meetings.

Marks made indoors were not considered (apart from when part of outdoor meetings, such as the Zürich pole vault), nor were any athletes who were suspended for two years or longer during the year for drug-related offences.

Below we list the top three in each women’s event. The men’s international rankings can be found here, while UK merit rankings for men are here and women are here. The full top 10 list for every event, including details of the athletes’ seasons, appear in our December 20 end-of-year review special issue, which is available to buy and read digitally here or order in print here.

1 Marie-Josée Ta Lou (CIV)
2 Murielle Ahouré (CIV)
3 Dina Asher-Smith (GBR)

1 Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH)
2 Dina Asher-Smith (GBR)
3 Dafne Schippers (NED)

1 Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH)
2 Salwa Eid Naser (BRN)
3 Phyllis Francis (USA)

1 Caster Semenya (RSA)
2 Francine Niyonsaba (BDI)
3 Ajee’ Wilson (USA)

Photo by Mark Shearman

1500m/one mile
1 Shelby Houlihan (USA)
2 Laura Muir (GBR)
3 Sifan Hassan (NED)

1 Hellen Obiri (KEN)
2 Sifan Hassan (NED)
3 Letesenbet Gidey (ETH)

1 Pauline Kamulu (KEN)
2 Lonah Chemtai Salpeter (ISR)
3 Stacy Ndiwa (KEN)

1 Vivian Cheruiyot (KEN)
2 Brigid Kosgei (KEN)
3 Gladys Cherono (KEN)

3000m steeplechase
1 Beatrice Chepkoech (KEN)
2 Hyvin Jepkemoi (KEN)
3 Norah Tanui (KEN)

100m hurdles
1 Kendra Harrison (USA)
2 Brianna McNeal (USA)
3 Sharika Nelvis (USA)

400m hurdles
1 Shamier Little (USA)
2 Janieve Russell (JAM)
3 Dalilah Muhammad (USA)

High jump
1 Maria Lasitskene (RUS)
2 Mirela Demireva (BUL)
3 Yuliya Levchenko (UKR)

Photo by Mark Shearman

Pole vault
1 Sandi Morris (USA)
2 Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)
3 Jenn Suhr (USA)

Long jump
1 Malaika Mihambo (GER)
2 Caterine Ibargüen (COL)
3 Ivana Spanovic (SRB)

Triple jump
1 Caterine Ibargüen (COL)
2 Kimberly Williams (JAM)
3 Tori Franklin (USA)

Photo by Mark Shearman

1 Gong Lijiao (CHN)
2 Christina Schwanitz (GER)
3 Raven Saunders (USA)

1 Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
2 Yaimi Perez (CUB)
3 Chen Yang (CHN)

1 Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
2 DeAnna Price (USA)
3 Joanna Fiodorow (POL)

1 Lu Huihui (CHN)
2 Christin Hussong (GER)
3 Kathryn Mitchell (AUS)

1 Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)
2 Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR)
3 Yorgelis Rodríguez (CUB)

20km walk
1 María Guadeloupe González (MEX)
2 Qieyang Shenjie (CHN)
3 Yang Jiayu (CHN)

50km walk
1 Liang Rui (CHN)
2 Yin Hang (CHN)
3 Inês Henriques (POR)

» For the full top 10 list for every event, including details of athletes’ seasons, see the December 20 end-of-year review special issue of AW, which is available to buy and read digitally here or order in print here.

» Peter Matthews and Mel Watman are joint editors of Athletics International. For more information on receiving the Athletics International newsletter email [email protected]