Career Highlights: The reigning world champion in singles, Zhang was once known for his rebellious nature and arguments with coach Liu Guoliang. Now he is hailed for his great mental strength and is one of the odds-on favorites to win gold in London. Zhang defeated German superstar Timo Boll in the semifinals and knocked off reigning world champion and countryman Wang Hao in the final of his first appearance at the worlds last year. He repeated the feat of beating Wang in a major final by winning the 2011 World Cup, and just missed out on another title when he fell to world No. 1 and countryman Ma Long in the ITTF Pro Tour Grand Finals. That event was held in the same London venue where the Olympics will be contested. Zhang ‘s rise has been steep as he barely cracked the world's top 50 in 2008, earning a top-10 ranking for the first time in 2010. Strangely enough, the Olympics figure to be an easier draw than the world championships as the singles event will be limited to two players per country due to new ITTF restrictions - last year’s worlds had six Chinese men among the eight quarterfinalists.