World record holder Eliud Kipchoge will return to defend his title against Britain’s Mo Farah at this year’s London Marathon on 28 April.
The Kenyan says he will “relish the battle” with Farah, a double Olympic champion at 5,000m and 10,000m who finished third in the 2018 event.
Farah, 35, took his first marathon victory in Chicago in October.
“He is a great champion and has proved he can win a major marathon,” said 34-year-old Kipchoge.
- Kipchoge sets new marathon world record
- The stats behind Kipchoge world record
- Farah finishes third as Kipchoge wins London Marathon
Ethiopia’s Shura Kitata, 22, who finished second in London last year, will also return for the race in what is a high-quality field.
“It is always a great honour to come and race the Virgin Money London Marathon and I’m excited to be returning in 2019,” added Kipchoge, who set a new world record of two hours one minute 39 seconds at the Berlin Marathon in September.
“I had a memorable 2018, winning the London Marathon and then setting a new world record at the Berlin Marathon. I’m hoping that 2019 is just as good to me.”
Kipchoge is unbeaten in London with three victories from his three appearances in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
He holds the course record of 2:03:05, which he set in 2016. If he wins one more title he will become the most successful athlete in the elite men’s race in London Marathon history.