New York: Kenya`s David Rudisha will take another step on his road back from injury on Saturday when he runs the 800m at the New York Diamond League athletics meeting.
The reigning world and Olympic champion missed almost all of the 2013 season with a knee injury, returning a fortnight ago with a seventh-placed finish in the 800m at the Prefontaine Classic Diamond League meeting in Eugene, Oregon.
Since then the 25-year-old has returned to his European base in Germany, where he said his training had gone well.
"Before Eugene, I told my coach that I wanted to start racing and felt like I was capable of running 1:44, which I did, and it showed me where I am at," said Rudisha, who is now aiming to go a little lower, even if he`s not yet looking at a time approaching his world record of 1:40.91.
"Probably I am expecting to do 1:43 or better than that," Rudisha said Friday. "Because I want to move forward and take it step by step."
While Rudisha is seeking signs of progress, American LaShawn Merritt will be seeking to confirm his authority in the 400m.
Merritt is the 2013 world champion and leader of the Diamond League standings in the 400m, although in Eugene he finished runner-up by a hair`s breadth to rival Kirani James of Grenada, both credited with a time of 43.97.
James won`t be in New York, where Merritt will be challenged by Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos of the Dominican Republic.
Scheduled just four days after the Diamond League meeting in Oslo, the New York meeting is missing some of the sport`s big names who opted to stay in Europe.
Sweden`s Abeba Aregawi, who followed up her 2013 outdoor world title at 1,500m with an indoor world title earlier this year, will take on American Jenny Simpson in the women`s 1,500m.
The men`s 100m features a duel between Jamaicans Nesta Carter and Yohan Blake, who are both seeking to break 10 seconds for the first time this season.
Both are gearing up for Jamaica`s Commonwealth Games trials in two weeks.