Two-time world champion Zhang Jike crashes out of table tennis worlds

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-03 02:29:38|Editor: Zhou Xin
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DUSSELDORF, Germany, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Twice winner Zhang Jike suffered a surprise defeat to South Korea's Lee Sangsu in the men's singles round of 32 at the World Table Tennis Championships here on Friday.

Zhang, who won the championship in 2013 and 2011, was apparently not in form, making too many errors and crashing out 4-1 (9-11, 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 10-12).

It was his earliest exit since making his singles debut at the World Championships. He was stopped at the semifinals in Suzhou, China, two years ago.

The 29-year-old Zhang, who won the gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics and silver in Rio, had a chance in the fifth game, fighting back from 3-6 down to pull ahead 10-7. But Lee, who looked steady and confident, managed to level the score at 10-10 and went on the seal his first win in their fourth meeting with Zhang.

"If I had won the last game, I might have a chance," said a disappointed Zhang.

The 27-year-old Lee, ranked 17th in the world, was very emotional after the win. "I had never believed I could beat him," he said. "But after the match, I came to realized that he could not play as well as before. So I got more confident."

Ma Long, who defeated Zhang in the Rio Olympics finals, met little trouble in defeating Romania's Ovidiu Ionescu 4-1.