SWITZERLAND - World 800m champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi will look to close the gap on 21-year-old Kenyan David Rudisha at the seventh Diamond League meeting of the season in Lausanne tonight.
The veteran South African is in second place with four points in the 800m Diamond League season series, after finishing fourth at the inaugural meeting in Doha in a season's best 1:43.78 in May and winning in New York a month ago.
But Rudisha has been the form athlete over two laps this season, winning in Doha and taking a stunning victory in Oslo last month in 1:42.04, the fastest time in the world this year and the eighth fastest in history.
With eight points Rudisha will be eager to stretch his lead at the top of the Diamond League standings.
Former world champion Alfred Yego, also from Kenya, is likely to put up the stiffest challenge from the rest of the field.
South African record holder Ruben Ramolefi is up against a stellar field in the men's 3000m steeplechase, as is the versatile Rene Kalmer, who lines up in the women's flat 3000m.
Ramolefi faces the likes of Kenyan Paul Koech, a four-time winner of the World Athletics Final, global outdoor silver medallist Richard Mateelong, and world record holder Saif Saaeed Shaheen.
Kalmer, who has shown her form after clocking a personal best 8:44.17 in Paris last month, faces an even stronger field in the women's distance event.
World indoor record holder Meseret Defar heads the line-up and is joined by fellow Ethiopians Meselech Melkamu, the second fastest woman ever over 10000m, and Sentayehu Ejigu, the fastest in the world this year over 5000m after clocking 14:30.96 in Shanghai in May.
The Kenyan charge is led by world 5000m champion Vivian Cheruiyot and global 10000m title holder Linet Masai.
The fastest South African this year over 1500m, Johan Cronje, will look to go even better in Lausanne after clocking 3:37.30 in Madrid last Friday.
Cronje, the second fastest South African in history with a personal best of 3:33.63, faces nine Kenyans in a field of 14, led by Augustine Choge and Daniel Komen. - Sapa