Olympic gold medallist Steve Ovett is coming back home to officially start the first ever Brighton Marathon.

The Brighton-born athlete is flying in from Australia especially for the event on April 18.

Race director Tim Hutchings said: “This is a coup for us.

“Ovett's name is synonymous with Brighton and we are delighted to have him with us on this special occasion.”

Speaking from his home in Melbourne, Ovett, 54, told The Argus he was looking forward to returning to Sussex.

He said: “Brighton is a great place to have a marathon.

“It is not just about the race itself, it is about the entertainment and attractions before and after it as well and Brighton has plenty to offer."

Ovett is one of Britain's greatest athletes, taking Olympic 800m gold in Moscow 1980 as well as setting world mile and 1500m records.

He grew up in Brighton and went to Varndean School.

He trained at Withdean and was a regular figure around the streets of Brighton while building up his fitness.

DON'T miss today's Argus to see what Steve Ovett thinks about the bronze statue of him in Preston Park, which was stolen in 2007, leaving just one foot behind.