BARCELONA, Spain -- Olympic hurdles champion Aries Merritt of the United States faces tough competition at the IAAF's 100th anniversary gala.
Three months after winning the 110-meter hurdles at the London Games, Merritt will be up against Usain Bolt of Jamaica and 800-meter gold medalist David Rudisha of Kenya for the IAAF's World Athlete of the Year award.
Bolt retained his 100 and 200 titles in London, but Merritt followed up his gold-medal run with a world record in the hurdles in September.
Renaldo Nehemiah, a former world record holder who played for the San Francisco 49ers, says Merritt recovered the "art" of hurdling.
American Allyson Felix, Valerie Adams and Jessica Ennis -- all gold medalists at the London Olympics -- are vying for the women's award, which will be given out Saturday.