HONG KONG will be going into their last Commonwealth Games in Canada with a ''lean'' team of 53 athletes representing eight events but local sports chiefs are expecting a medal harvest.
A. de O Sales, president of the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, in announcing the squad yesterday, picked swimming as the only sport in which the territory is unlikely to win medals in Victoria.
The territory will also be represented in athletics, badminton, lawn bowls, visually impaired bowls, cycling, gymnastics and shooting.
''Hong Kong is a medal hope in every sport but the main thrust for swimming is the Asian Games,'' said Sales.
''We have won badminton and shooting medals before and we have excellent chances in bowls and also in visually impaired bowls, which is a new event in the Commonwealth Games.
''Our gymnasts have done well in recent international competitions and with standards not as high as the Asian Games, they will have their chances and so do the athletes.
''The cycling team are trying out again after the 'boxing' venture two years ago and they are the team to watch.'' Sales pointed out that applications for the Commonwealth Games were vetted by a selection panel and the squad was narrowed down to a minimum because there is a far greater number of people wanting to take part than places available and Hong Kong had to come to terms with that reality.
Paul Brettell, chief executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute and also a member of the selection board, said: ''There is no athlete on the list who does not deserve to be there.
''Badminton, lawn bowls and visually impaired bowls probably have the best medal prospects. Our chances in gymnastics have been boosted by the fact that there are medals for individual events while there is a very fine line in shooting. Cycling has an outside chance.'' Athletics: Maggie Chan Man-yee, Chan Sau-ying and Li Chun-nei.
Badminton: Chan Siu-kwong, Wong Wai-lap, Tam Kai-chuen, Ma Che-kong, Cheng Yin-sat, Chung Hoi-yuk, Wong Chun-fan, Tung Chau-man and Chan Oi-ni.
Lawn bowls: Ken Wallis, Bill McMahon, Mel Stewart, George Souza, Noel Kennedy, Ho Kun-kow, Mark McMahon, Chau Sau-ling, Jenny Wallis, Lena Yeung Ching, Rae O'Donnell, Anne Smith, Sinna Yau Sze-yin and Rosemary McMahon.
Visually impaired bowls: Carlos Antunes and Sunny Tang Shun-yee.
Cycling: Wong Kam-po, Hung Chung-yam, Chan Lung, Hui Chak-bor.
Gymnastics: Leung Kwok-keung, Wong Kim-fai, Lok Chung-yuen, Lee Tak-ming, Tina-Anne Pooley, Wong Ka-li, Nicola Waite and Wut Fung-yin.
Shooting: Paul Simpson, Peter Rull Sr, Gilbert U, Li Hao-jian, Michk Cheng, Wyman Li and Yu Lai-har.
Swimming: Arthur Li Kai-yien, Michael Walker, Fenella Ng Gar-loc, Katie Lau King-ting, Robyn Lamsam and Snowie Pang Wan-yiu.