Hong Kong will attempt to preserve their status as one of Asia's leading triathlon centres at this weekend's Asian Championships in Subic Bay, the Philippines. Defending Asian champion Con O'Kelly, Brian Bozarth, Andy Patrick and Daniel Lee Chi-wo are among a handful of elite athletes capable of challenging for the men's title as well as putting Hong Kong in the running for the team prize. Nicole Budd is the leading Hong Kong athlete in the women's field, although she will face stiff competition from the strong Chinese squad. Hong Kong have sent a huge squad of more than 60 athletes in elite and age group divisions, although the elite squad's preparations have been hit by bad weather in their two most recent competitions. The Hong Kong leg of the Asian circuit two months ago and this month's Taipei event were affected by rough seas which meant both competitions were turned into duathlons, featuring two runs with the bike leg sandwiched in between. Still, Hong Kong are confident of coming away with a share of the honours. Ian Brownlee, former national rugby coach and a triathlon enthusiast, said: 'Hong Kong have always had good athletes in triathlon and this year we are again looking to do well. 'It's a very flat course in Subic Bay, so it should suit someone like Nicole. But a lot depends on what kind of squad the Chinese send, especially the women.' O'Kelly has been training in Australia for the event while Bozarth's preparation work has been done in the United States. Also representing Hong Kong is distance runner Chiu Pik-kwan in the women's division. Chiu's weakest department is the swimming, but she has proved herself to be a capable cyclist to complement her established running skills. The championships will feature an Olympic course of 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre bike ride and 10-kilometre run. The age group events take place today while the main elite races will be run tomorrow. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Kim Isherwood finished 18th at the World Long-Course Championships in Nice, France - her best performance in the event. Isherwood, whose previous best was 19th in 1992, retains her number one ranking in Asia with her effort. 'Unfortunately, I'm unable to take part in Subic Bay because I won't have enough time to recover,' said Isherwood.