Punching above their weight: Netherlands and Hungary

While the USA still remain the top sporting nation in the world, and are set to claim the Global Cup title for the seventh year running,
there are old rivalries and some new faces in the top 10 of GSN’s unique ranking of the world’s sporting nations.
Germany, hot on the heels of their FIFA World Cup victory, are still holding on to second place, heading for their best-ever placement in the Global Cup… provided that Russia, who have always finished second behind the USA in GSN history, don’t catch up with them. Russia have won the August monthly ranking, thanks among other things to third place in the Women’s Volleyball Grand Prix, and they are closing in on Germany, the gap now being only 173 points.
Meanwhile two nations are also in best-ever position in the top ten:
a)      Canada are currently 4th and set to improve on their 8th position in the 2013 Global Cup
b)      the Netherlands are 5th and enjoying a bumper year (their best-ever finish was 11th in 2010) propelled by excellent team performances in the Women’s (1st place) and Men’s (2nd) Hockey World Cups, and the FIFA Football World Cup in Brazil (3rd).
Behind them is China, who have never finished below 4th (they were 2nd in 2008) and are only 150 points behind the Dutch.
Other countries have been punching above their weight this year, and not just, as for example Argentina (currently 11th),  because of their Football prowess. Norway are currently in 9th place (they finished 16th in 2013), while Hungary were 6th in the August monthly ranking, ahead of the likes of Brazil, Great Britain or Canada, after winning the Canoe/Kayak Sprint World Championships.

Compared to the final 2013 ranking, there are currently 4  new entries in the Global Cup top 20 (besides Argentina, also Austria in 17th, the Czech Republic in 18th and Finland in 20th) and there may be more at the end of the sporting year.