On 6th September 2016, the top ten Olympic Games sports stars gaining the most attention from Chinese netizens was released. But to many people’s surprise, the number one is not Fu Yuanhui, a swimmer who has "prehistorical power”, nor the Chinese Women’s Volleyball team, but Zhang Jike from the Chinese Ping Pong team.
According to statistics, over 400 million hot searches have been done on Zhang Jike during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, exceeding that of Ning Zetao and Sun Yang (both are handsome swimmers popular in China).
Sun Yang ranked the second with 400 million hot searches and Ning Zetao the third with 220 million hits. The famous Japanese women’s Ping Pong player Ai Fukuhara ranked sixth with 120 million hot searches. Li Guoliang and the Olympic Champion Ma Long also made it into the top 8 most searched athletes during the Rio Olympic Games on Weibo.
Why is Zhang Jike so appealing? Apart from his handsome face and perfect body build, a photo taken by others (when he was still sleeping) only ten minutes before the competition against Japan Ping Pong player Koki Niwa, created an immediate sensation online.
Proofread by Sean O Diobhilin