Bolt, who won the men's 100m, 200m and 4X100m gold medals at the Moscow World Championships, was joined by high jumper Bohdan Bondarenko of Ukraine and British long distance runner Mohamed Farah.
Bondarenko cleared 2.41 meters to take the men's high jump world champion while Farah, last year's Olympic champion in 5000m and 10,000m, prevailed in these two events again in Moscow.
Bolt has won the award for four consecutive years
Bolt, the world recorder of 100m and 200m, won the award in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
The finalists were selected after a month-long poll of the World Athletics Family. The Council of the International Athletics Foundation will select the male and female winners, with the announcement taking place live on stage in Monaco during the 2013 World Athletics Gala Nov 16.