USA Win 2017 Global Cup, France Overtake Russia in Tense Finale

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As has been expected for some time, the USA won the 2017 Global Cup with 6598 points - an enormous lead of 3298 points over their nearest rivals. They scored points in an astonishing 51 sports, and won outright 10 of them: Athletics, Baseball, BMX, Freestyle Skiing, Golf, Lacrosse, Swimming, Tennis, Water Polo and Free Wrestling. They also topped both the Men’s and the Ladies’ overall rankings.
 
Behind the USA, the battle for the other two podium places went to the wire. In an incredibly exciting battle, France finally overtook Russia on December 17th, when they won the Women’s Handball World Championships.
 
France probably also owe their second place to the fact that Russia were banned from the 2017 Weightlifting World Championships for doping violations. France finished the sporting year 134 points ahead of Russia, a lead that would have been overturned had Russia matched their performance at the Championships’ last edition, in 2015, when they scored 184 points.
 
While Great Britain remained relatively untroubled in fourth place during December, there were a number of other contests throughout the top ten that were only resolved at the very end.   
 
Italy, recent winners of the Rowing World Championships, took fifth place (their best-ever Global Cup finish) with a margin of 55 points over sixth-placed China who, in turn, were just 17 points ahead of Germany in seventh place.
 
Japan, who were behind Canada at the end of November, overtook them to take eighth place by 50 points.
 
And Australia, who were eleventh, overtook South Korea to take tenth place by 22 points.
 
Finally, a special mention for Norway, who finished in twelfth place in the Global Cup and also won the Per Capita Cup. An extraordinary achievement for a country with a population of just over 5.2 million. Only Australia, in 2008, 2012 and 2015, and the Netherlands (2014) have ever managed to finish the year in the top10 both in the Global and Per Capita Cups, and this year Norway went really close - within a mere 92 points - to matching the Aussies’ and the Dutch’s feat.
 

The Global Cup is the annual ranking of the world’s best sporting nations, based on results from 1250 events across 176 different tournaments and 77 different sports.