Sporting excellence beyond the Global Cup top 10

Nour El-Sherbini of Egypt was 2022 Squash world champion

Does sporting excellence go hand in hand with national power? A glance at the top 10 countries in the 2022 Global Cup suggests the answer is, at least partly, yes.

There are many ways of measuring a nation’s power, but all the G7 countries were included in the Global Cup top 10, and the other three among the world’s 10 best sporting nations were the world’s most populous country, a G20 country (Australia) and a small but very wealthy European nation, the Netherlands.
And yet. GSN results reveal that sporting excellence can be found all over the world, as shown by the number of countries not featured in the Global Cup top 10 that won at least one sport in 2022, and/or were podium finishers - the list is below, and it’s a far-reaching one.
SPORT WINNERS not in the top 10 (with 2022 Global Cup ranking):
Norway (11th) won Cross-country Skiing, Nordic Combined and Biathlon
Sweden (12th) won Curling, Orienteering and Floorball
Egypt (32nd) won Squash and Modern Pentathlon, and was the lowest-ranked multiple sport winner
South Korea (15th) won Archery and Short Track
Switzerland (14th) won Alpine Skiing and MTB
Austria (22nd) won Snowboarding
Brazil (13th) won Beach Volleyball
Kenya (19th) won Marathon
New Zealand (24th) won Rugby Union
Slovenia (34th) won Ski Jumping
Spain (17th) won Water Polo
Turkey (42nd) won Greco-Roman Wrestling, and was the lowest-ranked among all sport winners.
SPORT PODIUM FINISHERS not in the top 10:
Belgium was second in Cyclocross, Road Cycling and Triathlon
Mexico was second in Archery and Taekwondo
Poland was third in Canoe-Kayak Sprint and Volleyball
Finland was second in Ice Hockey, third in Cross-country Skiing
Czech Republic was third in Canoe-Kayak Slalom
Hungary was second in Canoe-Kayak Sprint
Georgia was third in Judo
Latvia was third in Luge, and at 71st overall was the lowest-ranked sport podium finisher.
Bulgaria was second in Rhythmic Gymnastics
Samoa was second in Rugby League
Ukraine was third in Synchro Swimming; despite the Russian invasion, the country was ranked as high as 27th overall in the Global Cup!
Iran was third in Free Wrestling
Azerbaijan was second in Greco-Roman Wrestling
Serbia was third in Greco-Roman Wrestling
India was third in Cricket.
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Greatest Sporting Nation is a ranking of countries based on their performance in top-level international tournaments in sports in which there is genuine global competition. Countries (national teams and/or individual athletes) score Qualifying Points by finishing in the top eight places in Qualifying Events.
These Qualifying Points are then weighted to produce GSN Points, based on a formula that takes into account individual vs team sports, the sport’s participation (number of countries) and the frequency (annual/biennial/quadrennial) of the tournaments.
The Country scoring the most Points in a calendar year wins the Global Cup for that year. The country that scores the most points relative to its population wins the Per Capita Cup. For a more detailed explanation, please refer to the ‘How It Works’ section on the site.