China's top paddler Zhang Jike wins Olympic debut
Updated: 2012-07-30 21:42:19
LONDON - No 1 seeded Zhang Jike of China, the defending world champion, won easily 4-0 against Turkey's Bora Vang in men's third round of table tennis match on Monday.
Zhang is the first to wrap up Sunday's match among the four top 16 seeds competing at the same time at ExCeL. Zhang beat Vang in 27 minutes, while the match between Belarus's Vladimir Samsonov and Austria's william Henzell lasted as long as 65 minutes.
Zhang had many rallies with Vang in the first two sets. Liu Guoliang, head coach of China's men's table tennis team, said Zhang was a little bit "stiff" in the match. "His hand was quick, but legs didn't catch up."
Liu said it's quite normal for players in the first match. "He had the feeling that a match at the Olympics is different from other competitions. Now he knows what Olympic Games are like. I think he will play better after his second match."
Zhang, however, didn't admit he was nervous. "Did I look nervous? I am the first to close a match. The other three matches haven't finished yet," he said in the mix-zone.
His opponent Vang was born and trained in China. He moved to Turkey five years ago. Zhang said Vang's speed was fast and had already played a round. "This is only my first match. It seemed that I have many rallies with him. But generally I feel quite good."
Zhang will face Samsonov Monday night.
A right handed dynamic attacker, 24-year-old Zhang is the reigning world champion and World Cup champion in 2011. He is widely seen as a gold medal favorite for the London Olympic men's single's title.
China's Zhang Jike serves to Turkey's Bora Vang in their men's singles third round table tennis match at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 30, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]