The world’s current top table tennis player Zhang Jike was born in Qingdao in 1988. He won the gold medal for men‘s singles and shared the gold for team table tennis at the 2012 London Olympics.
Recently Zhang was hanging out at the Starbucks at Sunshine Department Store on Nanjing Lu in Qingdao and feeling “convenient”. Check out his first interview and photos since returning to China from the London Olympics.
In addition to his win over former champion and doubles partner Wang Hao at the 2012 Olympics for the men’s singles gold, Zhang holds the titles of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Cup and World Championships from 2011.
More on Qingdao’s Table Tennis Hero from NBC:
Zhang Jike only recently burst onto the scene as one of the world’s elite table tennis players. Prior to January 2010, Zhang had never broken into the top 25 in the world rankings, but by February that year he was ranked No. 8 in the world.
By May 2010, Zhang cracked into the top five. His strong 2010 campaign included a first place finish at the World Team Championships in Moscow, a runner-up finish at the 2010 World Cup and a strong showing on the Pro Tour.
Zhang won two gold medals at the 2012 London Games: one in the men’s singles event and another in the men’s team event.
Zhang is known to have a strong backhand and great return service, much like his fellow Chinese competitor Wang Hao. Unlike Wang, Zhang holds his racket with a classic “shake hand” grip.
Zhang Jike on 2012 London Olympics Official Website