Thursday, Jul. 24, 2008

52. Wang Liqin

Table Tennis
Age: 30

When he first made the Chinese table-tennis national team at age 15, Wang Liqin looked like an overgrown geek, all gangly limbs and hair that appeared to have lost two out of three to a weed-whacker. But in a country where ping-pong prowess can confer rock-star status, Wang has evolved into quite the sex bomb, occasionally posing bare-chested in photo shoots. His honed body may ripple, but Wang's mind can sometimes let him down. The 2007 world champion managed to lose his opening match in this year's championship to a Romanian ranked No. 74. The normally mild-mannered Wang gets grumpy when Chinese media question his medal worthiness but don't count the three-time world champion out.