Russia close the gap in the Global Cup ranking

Russia's wall in the World League 2013 final

 The USA are leading the Global Cup ranking after July 2013 (hardly a surprise…) but the news is that the race for the top nation in sport’s title this year is tighter than in the past.

After a very successful July, in which they topped the monthly Global Cup ranking ahead of Germany, the USA and Sweden, Russia are in fact as close to the Americans as they could hope to be. Thanks also to their Men’s Volleyball World League victory in Mar del Plata (Argentina), they are only 349 points behind the US. In July 2012 Russia was only fourth in the table,  trailing the Americans by 1356 points.
And whilst Germany (third in the Global Cup, and winner of the Women Football European Championships in July) ) and Canada (fifth) are confirming the Global Cup positions they held a year ago, the main surprise of the year is still Norway. The hardy Scandinavians have scored 961 (!) points more than last year, owing to their domination of the Cross Country World Championships earlier in the year (74% of their total points do come from Winter Sports) but also to their second place in the Women Football European Championships. Norway are also leading the Per Capita Cup, further proof of their overall prowess as a sporting country.
The biggest slump in the top ten Global Cup positions comes from China, ranked 10th with only 926 points scored so far this year, a 26% decrease year-on-year. Four other European nations are doing better than the Oriental Dragons, with Sweden at an all-time high in 7th place overall, thanks to the Men’s Ice Hockey world title in May, the third place in the Women Football European Championships and a second place overall in the Orienteering World Championships in July.
For once the USA’s leadership is less dominant, and Russia has a chance to further close the gap in August with the IAAF Athletics World  Championships on home soil in Moscow.