Aiming for the top three: Germany in the 2012 Global Cup

Matthias De Zordo of Germany
Germany is surely one of the giants in world sports but it slipped 3 positions in the 2011 Global Cup, finishing 6th, the lowest ranking in the last four years (previous low, 4th place in 2008).
Germany is strong  in versatility: it scored  points in 48 sports (vs 42 in 2010), second only to overall winners USA who scored in 50 sports. And it won the yearly Global Cup in 5 sports, just one less than the USA: they were all winter sports: Luge, Nordic Combined, Skeleton, Bobsleigh and Biathlon (shared with Norway).
Yet in 2011 Germany lost 356 points overall vs the previous year. Despite scoring in so many sports, and the strong result (456 points) in the Athletics World Championships, GSN figures tell of a lower average score per sport: 91,4 points per sport in the year, vs 98,3 in 2010. In comparison, the USA scored 164,4 points per sport in 2011.
In absolute terms, it’s the 600 points missing from Football (the 2010 Football World Cup’s third place) that count, as well as 66 points less from Canoe-Kayak Sprint and 64 less from Alpine Skiing.
The top sports in 2011 were, in ranking order: Canoe-Kayak Sprint, Athletics, Alpine Skiing, Rowing, Biathlon. The top five in 2010 were Football, Canoe – Kayak Sprint, Alpine Skiing, Rowing, Hockey.
 Nicole Reinhardt
The picture is one of consistency in the key sports, even though average scores declined.
In January 2012 Germany failed to score GSN points, though the month has offered slim pickings, only 429 points scored altogether, vs over 3000 last year.
The opportunities in 2012? First of all, the Olympics. At Beijing 2008 Germany finished 5th overall, scoring 2105 points. One point less than 4th placed Australia but 1044 points behind 3rd placed Russia. Then the UEFA European Football Championships in Poland-Ukraine, where the title will be worth 300 points.
The yearly World Championships in Germany’s top sports: because of the Olympics in 2012, there will be no world championships in Canoe-Kayak Sprint, and the same goes for Biathlon, so the best chances for Germany to climb back into the top three of the Global Cup ranking rest on Football and the Olympics.
Winning the UEFA European Football Championship 2012, and greatly improving the performance in Athletics, the biggest sport in the Olympics. This means doing something about Germany's disastrous performance in Track Athletics at the 2011 Athletics Worlds: they were 3rd overall in Field Athletics but only 44th (of 49) in Track!
Assuming a conservative 10% improvement in the Olympics score but detracting the points scored in 2011 at the Athletics and Canoe-Sprint Worlds, and given that Germany is indeed one of the hot favourites at the UEFA European Football Championships, our arithmetics yield a total of  5376 points. In an Olympic year like 2008 they would be enough to guarantee third place, and even make a credible contention for second place.
It’s a tough target but excellence is the name of the game if Germany is to succeed in reaching a place among the top three sporting nations of the planet.