Dennis Kimetto, who smashed the world record last year, and fellow Kenyan and defending champion Wilson Kipsang, whose mark he beat, will go head-to-head for the first time in a mouth-watering London Marathon in April, organisers said on Thursday.
Kimetto, who clocked two hours, two minutes, 57 seconds in last September's Berlin Marathon to take 26 seconds of Kipsang's 2013 record, will be making his London Marathon debut, while Kipsang is seeking a third title after winning in 2012 and 2014.
The two are training partners in the Kenyan town of Iten but have never faced each other over the marathon distance.
There are 10 runners in the men's field who have run under two hours six minutes, including multiple track Olympic and world 10,000 and 5,000m champion and world record holder Kenenisa Bekele, also making his London debut in his fourth outing over the 26.2 mile distance.
Emmanuel Mutai, the 2011 London winner who ran the second quickest time ever (2:03.13)when finishing runner-up to Kimetto in Berlin last year, is also in the field.
The 30-year-old Kimetto, re-ignited talk of a possible sub-two hour marathon with his remarkable run in Berlin when he averaged four minutes 41 seconds per mile to become the first man under two hours three minutes.
The marathon world record has fallen by almost three minutes in the last 12 years.
"I broke Wilson's world record in Berlin last year and now I want his London Marathon crown," said Kimetto looking forward the April 26 race.
"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."
Kipsang, who also won the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics, is relishing the battle.
"London always has the best fields but with Dennis in the line-up this year it promises to be a bruising battle," he said.
"I certainly won't give up my title without a fight, but let's see who has the knock-out blow."
Race director Hugh Brasher said: "Having the current and former world-record holders in the same race for the first time, is a real coup for us on our 35th anniversary, and a thrilling prospect for marathon fans.
"Wilson is familiar with our course and showed last year why he is already regarded as one of the greatest marathon runners of all time. But Dennis arrives as a history-maker after making headlines around the world a few months ago."
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