New Zealand, Cuba win month of October

New Zealand were too strong for Australia in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final

We love sporting countries that punch above their weight, and the monthly ranking for the Global Cup, the most accurate statistical measurement of how the world’s nations perform in all sports,has given us a double reason to celebrate in October.

Mighty minnows New Zealand and Cuba were in fact the joint monthly winners: the Kiwis triumphed in the Rugby Union World Cup after a brilliant tournament and a hard fought-final against Australia, while Cuba won the Amateur Boxing World Championships ahead of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Russia.
New Zealand, with a population of only 4,276,100, is a regular in the Global Cup top twenty nations, and in the top three of the Per Capita Cup, the ranking of the world’s sportiest nations (where population is divided by GSN points earned, to measure how many citizens a country ‘needs’ to score 1 GSN point).
New Zealand not only field what is arguably the best team in Rugby Union history, making them the first country to ever defend the Web Ellis Cup successfully and to win it for three times, but they are also remarkable for the range of their sporting success: in 2014 the country scored points in 18 sports as different as Freestyle Skiing, Softball and BMX – though Rugby Union was their linchpin with 27.3% of the total.
Cuba have a population that’s nearly three times New Zealand’s (11,268,000) but, ranking 64th in the 2013 nominal GDP estimate (World Bank), and currently lying 32nd in the Global Cup, they do have a reputation for punching above their weight.
It’s a well-deserved one, as the Caribbean country’s athletes fought their way to four golds and two silvers in the recent Amateur Boxing World Championships. After taking the runners-up spot in the tournament in 2011 and 2013, Cuba powered their way to the top with a record (for them) 200 points, almost double the tally of second-placed Uzbekistan.
The tournament saw the customary domination of former Soviet and communist states, with Ireland (5th ), Great Britain  and France the only exceptions in the top ten.
While the USA are virtually unassailable in their Global Cup leadership, it’s great to see how smaller nations can make a name for themselves on the world sporting stage. The tightness of the race for the Per Capita title is proof of this: it promises to go to the wire, so don’t miss out on it on GSN!