TEENAGE canoeists Fan Tsz-ho and Tang Ming-fai fared poorly at the World Junior Championships in Japan, but team officials are unperturbed by the results. Neither Tsz-ho nor Ming-fai made it further than the heats and repechage, and their only consolation was finishing ahead of the paddlers from Taiwan and Macau. And perhaps most disappointing was their failure to better their personal best times, despite excellent conditions on the placid waters of Lake Motosuin Yamanashi, at the foot of Mount Fuji. But team manager Lee Hong-man, head of the Hong Kong Canoe Union's development committee, was quick to defend his charges, saying the trip had always been taken as a learning experience for the duo. 'It was the first major regatta for both boys and they were over-awed by the atmosphere of competing against the best paddlers from 37 other countries,' Lee said. Hungarian coach Antal Hajba predicted a bright future for Hong Kong canoeing, but said the development programme should begin at a younger age. Fan and Tang started canoeing two years ago when they had already passed their 15th birthdays.