World-class M60 vaulter Doug “Bubba” Sparks got a strange note today from organizers of WMA worlds in Brazil. They need an additional $156 to process his entry. Porto Alegre wrote: “Unfortunately, there was a problem with the payment of your registration fees due to the currency not being converted from U.S. Dollars to Brazilian Real. Therefore, you have an outstanding balance that needs to be paid in full before your registration will be considered complete.” Say what? Doug writes: “I feel uncomfortable wiring money overseas just because their registration system didn’t use the right exchange rate. I bought my tickets in November and entered months ago.” I suggested that he write Team USA Manager Phil Greenwald. Has anyone else gotten a note like this? Is it legit? How did you deal with it?
Here’s what WMA folks sent Bubba:
> Dear Douglas Sparks,
> Thank you for your registration for the 2013 World Masters Athletics
> Championships. Unfortunately, there was a problem with the payment of
> your registration fees due to the currency not being converted from
> Dollars to Brazilian Real. Therefore, you have an outstanding balance
> that needs to be paid in full before your registration will be
> considered complete. Below are details regarding the amount you have
> already paid and the amount that is due. You can pay the difference by
> bank transfer or when you arrive in Porto Alegre. Attached are the
> for bank transfer. Wichever way you choose to pay, please contact us
> Total fee in REAL: R$299,25
> Amount paid in REAL: R$142,50
> Amount due in REAL: R$156,75
> Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Meanwhile, WMA reports:
The deadline for the coming WMA Championships Stadia is finally over: 4,143 masters are registered and signed up for the competitions. In addition there are 424 accompanying persons attending the championship. The leading country is the hosting country, i.e. Brazil with 558 athletes, followed by its neighbour Argentina (549) and one other country from South America, Chile (314). Overall, participants of 84 WMA associations entered to the championships in Porto Alegre in October.
Most world meets attract 5,000-plus. But given the time of year, distance from Europe and competition from the World Masters Games, this isn’t a bad turnout.