Japan back in the Global Cup top 10 in 2015

Karne Hesketh of Japan dives over the line to win it vs South Africa

Japan's Global Cup finish went from 7th in 2011, to 9th in 2012, to 11th in 2013, to 13th in 2014, to…so much for arithmetic progressions.

In 2015 however Japan surged back into GSN`s top ten nations in the Global Cup, finishing 8th, just shy of their best-ever performance. Replicating their feats of 2011/12, Japanese women finished 4th, another remarkable achievement, while the Japanese men finished in 11th place, their best performance for some years.
Japan`s resurgence was based on three elements. First, having been run close by France in recent years, Japan completely dominated Judo in 2015, winning half the gold medals on offer at the World Championships. This performance accounted for almost 19% of their final points tally.
Second, despite the Japanese women falling just short in their defence of the World Cup, and a disappointing quarter-final exit for the men in defence of their Asian Cup crown, Japan finished a very creditable second in Football. These results accounted for a further 22.6% of the Japanese total.
Finally, Japan scored points in 35 different sports, finishing third in Figure Skating and Synchronised Swimming, and fourth in Artistic Gymnastics, Ski Jumping, Badminton, Marathon, Nordic Combined, and Trampoline. Excellence in this eclectic bunch of pastimes lends some support to the rumour that Japanese sportspeople like to do it in style.
To score points in GSN`s Global Cup an individual or team needs to finish inside the top eight at an international sporting event - Wimbledon quarter-finals, 7th in the Olympic Marathon, 6th at the Masters? They all count. Some count more than others though, and some things don`t count at all. In 2020, 56 years on, the Summer Olympics will return to Tokyo. No points for that, but sport is in the air. In October 2015 a fifth of the Japanese population, 25 million people, stayed up to watch a ballgame. According to The Guardian newspaper, this was “the biggest national viewing audience in rugby history”. No points for that either, and no points for guessing that a couple of weeks prior something big had happened. In the words of the British ITV commentators:
 “Brighton has become the centre of the rugby world…they`re 6 metres away…Hiwasa again… Kruger screaming in the centre for defenders to come around… the referee is pointing at...wait, there`s space out wide here…ohhhh…go…gooooo....he`s done it!!!”
You may have heard it from here.