By Michael Pavitt

Switzerland's Marcel Hug pipped David Weir to the 2014 London Marathon title ©Getty ImagesBritain's David Weir is set to go head to head with Switzerland's Marcel Hug in the men's wheelchair event at the Virgin Money London Marathon, a race that will double as the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships. 

It was announced last October that the London event would incorporate the World Championship marathons.

The race will include 12 medal events after it was decided to hold them separately from the rest of the World Championships, due to take place in Doha in October.

It is widely assumed this because of the searing temperatures in the Qatari capital, which even at that time of the year can reach as high as 35 degrees, although the IPC have denied this. 

"The London Marathon has been at the forefront of efforts to develop elite marathon running for Para-athletes in the last few years with the IPC Athletics Marathon World Cup held here in 2013 and 2014," said London Marathon race director, Hugh Brasher.

"When we were asked to stage to the World Championship marathons this year we were delighted to accept and look forward to welcoming the world's top Para-athletics marathon runners back to the event in April."

Weir was denied a seventh London Marathon victory last year by Hug in a dramatic sprint finish and the pair are now set for a rematch in 2015, with a $20,000 (£13,000/€18,000) winner's prize up for grabs.

This follows a prize money boost of $16,250 (£10,600/€14,500) in the male and female wheelchair races.

"Just a second separated the top three last year and I'm sure it's going to go down to the wire again in 2015," Weir said.

"It would mean a lot to get the record-breaking seventh in London and win gold for the British team, but first and foremost I'm focused on ensuring I'm in the best possible condition at the end of April and ready to attack the race."

Tatyana McFadden of the US will seek to defend her wheelchair title on April 26 ©Getty ImagesTatyana McFadden of the US will seek to defend her wheelchair title on April 26
©Getty Images

In the women's wheelchair event, America's Tatyana McFadden will be targeting her third consecutive victory having broken the course record in 2013 and 2014, as part of a run that has seen her unbeaten in the marathon over the last two years.

She also won a silver medal in the one kilometres cross country sit-skiing at the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics.

Her main competition is set to come from Japan's Wakako Tsuchida, statistically the fastest woman in the field and who was the victor in 2010, while Paralympic bronze medallist Sandra Graf of Switzerland will be aiming to repeat her 2008 victory.

The rest of the IPC Athletics World Championship races will also boast world-class fields.

Moroccan El Amin Chentouf will attempt to defend his World Championships title in the T11/12 race for visually impaired runners, while in the equivalent women's race Spain's Maria Paredes Rodriguez will attempt to win gold on the course where the 52-year-old broke her own world record last year.

New Zealand's Tim Prendergast, a former world and Paralympic 800 metres champion, will bid for glory in the men's T13 event with United States national blind marathon champion Jason Romero set to prove one of his biggest rivals.

Italy's Alessandro di Lello will attempt to retain his T45/46 World Championship title, while there will be more home interest with Britain's world and Paralympic 200m champion Richard Whitehead running in the T42-44 race against Eitan Hernan of Israel.

Santiago Sanz of Spain, the 2014 World Cup champion, is due to compete against Raymond Martin of the US in the T51/52 wheelchair event.

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Related stories
October 2014:
 Decision to move World Championship marathons from Doha to London nothing to do with heat, claims IPC
April 2014: McFadden takes women's wheelchair London Marathon title just weeks after Sochi success