1. Zhu Ting
The 21-year-old outside hitter of China’s female volleyball team is a rising star, winning MVP honors at last year’s FIVB Volleyball World Cup and reportedly signing a million-dollar deal with Turkish club VakifBank Istanbul to join one of the world’s most respected volleyball leagues. There are great hopes that she will help propel China to their first Olympic volleyball gold in 12 years.
2 & 3. He Zi and Wu Minxia
Shanghai native Wu Minxia is already the first woman to win a gold medal in the diving category in three consecutive events. She will attempt to repeat this for the fourth time as she reteams with 25-year-old Nanning native He Zi to defend their synchronized winning diving titles.
4. Li Xuerui
The 25-year-old Chongqing native is one of the most successful badminton players of her time. She’s already won an Olympic gold medal in London, along with eight Super Series Premier titles, three Super Series titles and two Super Series Finals titles. Currently ranked third by the Badminton World Federation (BWF), she faces challenges from Spain’s Carolina Marín and country mate Wang Yihan.
5. Lei Sheng
While he may have gotten into the sport due to a fondness of Zorro, the 32-year-old goes into Brazil looking to win another gold in the men’s individual foil fencing. A member of the two-time World Fencing Champions winning national team, Lei recently served as an ‘athlete role model’ at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.