Marathon world record holder Dennis Kimetto will race for the first time over the distance against the man whose name he scrubbed from the record books, fellow Kenyan Wilson Kipsang, at the Virgin Money London Marathon in April.
Organisers on Thursday announced an incredibly strong line-up for the April 26 race. Debutant Kimetto and defending champion Kipsang will also take on Ethiopian track great Kenenisa Bekele and Kenya's 2011 champion Emmanuel Mutai, who became the second fastest marathoner in history when he finished second to Kimetto in Berlin last September.
Having finished a disappointing eighth on his debut over the distance in 2014, Mo Farah has no marathon plans this year, focusing instead on defending his 5,000 and 10,000 metres crowns at August's World Championships in Beijing.
Kimetto became the first man to run 26.2 miles in under two hours and three minutes when he clocked 2hrs 2mins 57secs in last year's Berlin Marathon.
That performance saw the 30-year-old, who also won the 2013 Tokyo and Chicago Marathons, knock 26 seconds off the record Kipsang set in the same race the previous year.
"I broke Wilson's world record in Berlin last year and now I want his London Marathon crown," Kimetto said.
"I am relishing the chance to face my friend over the famous course. I know it won't be easy but I am confident I can go the distance whatever he throws at me."
Kimetto and two-time London Marathon champion Kipsang train together in Iten in the Great Rift Valley, but have never raced in a marathon together.
Kipsang, looking to become only the fourth man to win three London Marathon crowns, said: "I would love to join the London Marathon legends by winning a third title.
"London always has the best fields but with Dennis in the line-up this year it promises to be a bruising battle. I certainly won't give up my title without a fight, but let's see who has the knock-out blow."
Bekele, the 5,000m and 10,000m world record holder and three-time Olympic champion, will make his London Marathon debut. The race will be his fourth over 26.2 miles.
He has a best of 2:05:04, set in winning in Paris last year, but that ranks him only ninth fastest on the list of entrants.
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