Zhang Jike of China returns a ball against Bora Vang of Turkey during the third round men's singles match of table tennis event at London 2012 Olympic Games, London, Britain, July 30, 2012. Zhang won the match and advanced to the next round. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
LONDON, July 30 (Xinhua) -- 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 at the London Olympic Games 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 had many rallies with him. But generally I feel quite good."
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. Zhang will face Samsonov Monday night.
Zhang's teammate Wang Hao also won his first match in London, beating Austria's 2003 World Champion Werner Schlager 4-1.
Wang said he played a little bit "conservatively." "But nothing was unexpected. Schlager is tough. This is my first match. it's quite normal."
Wang won silver medals in table tennis men's singles in both Athens and Beijing. He will face Singapore's Gao Ning in the fourth round.
Monday's men's third-round matches featured 16 seeded players. Of the 16, 13 advanced to the fourth round.
South Korea's Joo Saehyuk, No. 6 seed, suffered an unexpected setback, losing 2-4 to Kim Hyok Bong of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Russia's Alexander Shibaev, seeded 16, was beaten by Croatia's Andrej Gacina. French player Adrien Mattenet, No. 14 seed, was defeated by Austria's Chen Weixing.
Special Report: London Olympics 2012