Kenya's four-time winner Eliud Kipchoge will defend is London Marathon title in October ©Getty Images

Full men's and women's fields for this year's London Marathon have been announced, with a showdown between long-distance legends Eliud Kipchoge and Kenenisa Bekele still poised to headline the event.

Having been pushed back from April until October 4 because of the coronavirus crisis, this year's London Marathon will be run on a St James’s Park loop course in bio-secure environment by elite athletes only.

There is to be no mass-participation race due to the pandemic.

Kenya's Kipchoge, holder of the world record over the distance, has won the last two editions of the London Marathon and is a four-time winner of the event.

Bekele of Ethiopia still holds the world record over 10,000 metres and has won two World Marathon Majors previously.

Eight athletes who have run marathons under two hours and five minutes are in the 45-man field.

Ethiopians Mosinet Geremew and Mule Wasihun - second and third in 2019 respectively - as well as compatriots Sisay Lemma, Tamirat Tola and Shura Kitata have broken that barrier.

Norway's Sondre Nordstad Moen and Kenyan Marius Kipserem are the others in the field to have dipped below the time.

Kenya's Ruth Chepng'etich is set to race in the London Marathon for the first time this year  ©Getty Images
Kenya's Ruth Chepng'etich is set to race in the London Marathon for the first time this year ©Getty Images

Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah of Britain has been included in the group of eight pace-makers.

Kenya's Brigid Kosgei and Vivian Cheruiyot - winners of the London Marathon in 2019 and 2018 respectively - lead the women's field, which totals 28 runners.

Cheruiyot came second in last year's race.

Ethiopia's Roza Dereje, third in 2019, is also set to compete, with current world champion Ruth Chepng'etich of Kenya is poised to make her World Marathon Majors debut.

This year's event is the 40th edition of the London Marathon.

Four of this year's World Marathon Majors - Boston, Berlin, New York City and Chicago - have been cancelled because of the pandemic.

October 3 has also been confirmed as the date for the 2021 London Marathon, as opposed to its traditional slot in April, in the hope that it increases the chances of a mass-participation race being possible.