By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year

Sinopec_World_Half_MarathonDecember 21 - The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) today announced that they had signed up their first worldwide Chinese sponsor in the shape of Sinopec, the country's largest oil refiner, producer and seller of chemical products.

The deal is an extension of Sinopec's earlier involvement with the IAAF, which included being the title sponsor of the IAAF/Sinopec World Half Marathon Championships and an official partner of the IAAF/VTB Bank Continental Cup, held respectively in Nanning and Split.

Under the terms of deal, which was brokered by Dentsu, the IAAF's worldwide marketing partner and runs until 2015, Sinopec will become the worldwide Official Partner of the IAAF and its World Athletic Series in the category of "oil and natural gas".

The deal with Sinopec, the seventh largest corporation in the Fortune 500 list in 2010, follows the decision by the IAAf last month to award the 2015 World Championships to Beijing.

In addition, Sinopec will directly provide additional financial support to the IAAF for its Continental Programme joining Samsung and Adidas.

With this new agreement, the IAAF now has seven confirmed Official Partners for the 2011 World Championships, which are due to take place in Daegu, South Korea next year between August 27 and September 4. 

Sinopec, a leading corporation in the field of petrol/energy, has the world's third largest sales network of petroleum products.

It is the largest refiner in China and the world's third largest refiner since 2008, when it was the official petrochemical sponsor of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

IAAF President Lamine Diack said: "In our pursuit in growing the excellence of the sport of Athletics in all continents of the world, I am delighted to be associated with such a prestigious partner, especially with the staging of two out of our next three World Championships in the continent of Asia.

"I am sure that Sinopec will add a lot of value to the world athletics family and this partnership will go a long way to strengthen our presence in China and Asia."

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