TWO-time champion Martin Lel has announced he plans to defend his title at the Bupa 30th Great North Run next month.

The Kenyan former world half marathon champion, 29, will take on legendary Ethiopian Haile Gebrselassie, twice Olympic 10,000m champion, and American Dathan Ritzenhein, who won the bronze medal at last years World Half Marathon Championships, in the race on September 19.

Lel, who recently has been racing his way back to fitness in the United States after injury, claimed his first victory over the Newcastle to South Shields course in 2007 and last year recorded the races second fastest ever time of 59 minutes 32 seconds.

Mara Yamauchi has already been confirmed as a participant in the women's race where she will be aiming to become the first British champion since Paula Radcliffe in 2003.