New Zealand gains 5 places as race for sportiest nation title heats up

Will New Zealand be able to mesmerise its Per Capita Cup competitors in the last part of the 2019 sporting year? Photo: Reuters/

After the first 7 months of the year, the table in the Per Capita Cup, GSN’s ranking of the world’s sportiest nations (see below* for more details on how the ranking is calculated) is looking very interesting.

Defending champions Norway still retain a strong lead, ‘needing’ only 3,365 citizens to score one GSN point this year, while Switzerland and Sweden, second and third, are separated by a mere 121 citizens. Behind them, New Zealand made quite a leap in July, reaching the final of the Cricket World Cup and gaining five places, though still remaining 1,550 citizens shy of Sweden.

After a sensational Winter Sports season, during which it won for the second year in succession the Snow & Ice Sports ranking, Norway is however losing steam, and some of its competitors could give the Scandinavians a run for their money in the final part of the sporting year, and perhaps stop them winning the title for the third consecutive year and the fourth time since GSN records began, equalling Jamaica’s record of 4 wins (in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2015).
New Zealand in particular is looking dangerous. The Kiwis, Per Capita champions in 2016 and 2012, are still relatively far from Norway this year, but they can look forward to the Rugby Union World Cup in September, worth 400 points to the winner, in which they are among the top favourites.
By winning the tournament, New Zealand would end at 5,843 citizens per point, leaping into second place in the Per Capita Cup on current standings.
Not enough to overtake Norway, but enough to breathe down its neck on the final straight. Of the year’s remaining tournaments, the Rowing and the Canoe/Kayak Sprint World Championships could earn further points to New Zealand, while Norway still has a trump card to play with the Women’s Handball World Championships in December.
The race is on, you can follow GSN also on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with the latest in the quest for the world’s sportiest nation!
*The Per Capita ranking is obtained by dividing the population of any country with at least ten top-8 placements in any tournament in the year by the number of the country’s total GSN points earned. In other words, it measures how sporty a nation is by calculating how many inhabitants are needed to score one GSN point. The fewer the inhabitants needed, the sportier the nation.