October 2011: a wind from the East

Tanaka Kazuhito of Japan
In a month rich with major tournaments in many sports, Eastern Europe, China and Japan played a leading role, while for once the USA were out of the top three of the monthly ranking.
The Global Cup for the month of October saw Russia top of the heap closely followed by China, with Italy a well-deserved third.
Russian athletes won 4 golds in the Fencing World Championships, scored 13 counts in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and topped this up with more scores in the Shooting World Cup and the Amateur Boxing World Championships.
That the Eastern wind owes much to the once mighty sports organization of the USSR (aside from the bitterly unsavoury bits, it certainly owes the strength to excel in many different sports) is witnessed by the monthly performances of the Ukraine (6th overall, with four golds at the Amateur Boxing World Championships!), Kazakhstan (12th overall, with two silvers in the same tournament) and Azerbaijan (18th overall, with one gold and one silver in the Amateur Boxing World Championships).
If we were to indulge in a bit of retro figuring, we’d discover that by adding up all their scores from Top Twenty countries in the monthly ranking, the “old” Russia would have doubled the current Russia score, earning an astonishing 18,3% of all points scored in October.
The wind blows strong from further East too: China ranked second in the month, winning the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships outright, the Shooting World Cup and climbing in third place overall in the 2011 Global Cup.
Italy had a super month, running away with the Fencing World Championships (topping both the Men and the Ladies charts) and scoring valuable points in the Shooting World Cup and the Amateur Boxing World Championships. From even further afar, Japan too had a positive month capped by two golds, one silver and one bronze, and overall third place in the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.
Finally, New Zealand in one single stroke (victory of the Rugby World Cup) earned 200 points and 14th place in the monthly ranking.