SHIZUOKA, JAPAN, SEPT. 14 -- Although Carl Lewis is the world record holder in the 100-meter dash, Leroy Burrell is the favorite in an international track and field meet here Saturday.

Burrell has won 20 of 22 races this year and has the year's fastest time, 9.96 seconds. He already has beaten Lewis in two of three meetings.

Burrell is confident he can run faster than Lewis again. Although both will be running 100 meters, they will be running in separate heats.

"If you look at the statistics, I believe the tide has turned," Burrell said today.

"Unfortunately for my competitors, I've accomplished all that I wanted to this season. I wanted to win the {Mobil} Grand Prix, and I did. I won the Goodwill Games, and I wanted to be ranked number one in the world and I am."

Burrell said that being No. 1 this season was not as difficult to accomplish as it could have been.

"Carl was injured and a lot of people who should have been in there {this season} weren't," Burrell said. "So I've been at the top, but it's been pretty slim pickings."

Burrell's self-declared ranking is unofficial. The official rankings do not come out until the end of the year.

Lewis, a teammate of Burrell's on the Santa Monica Track Club, injured a hamstring this year, limiting the number of meets in which he was able to compete.

Burrell, meanwhile, won all eight of the Grand Prix 100-meter races in which he ran, including the finale at Athens last week.

Lewis finished third in that race, behind Burrell and Mark Witherspoon. Two days later, in a meet at Rieti, Italy, Witherspoon was the winner, with Lewis second and Burrell third.

Last year, Burrell established himself as one of the world's top sprinters with a personal-best 9.94, only two-hundredths of a second off Lewis's world record.

"I'm sure that came as a surprise to a lot of people," Burrell said. "But if I hadn't been injured in 1986, I probably could have done it earlier."

It will be the last race this season for Burrell and Lewis.

In one heat, Lewis will race against fellow compatriot Dennis Mitchell and Daniel Sangouma, who helped the French 400-meter relay team break the world record Lewis and three other Americans set at the 1984 Olympics.

"It's been an abbreviated season, and I hope to end it on a high note," Lewis said. "I think I'm in fairly good condition."

In the other heat, Burrell will face Witherspoon and American Mike Marsh.

Lewis, Burrell, Witherspoon and Marsh also will try to regain the world record in the relay, which the French team broke at the European Championships.

But the American team will have little competition in the hastily arranged relay, as only two other teams -- one composed of local high school all stars -- are slated to run.