Hong Kong's squad to the 13th Asian Games in Bangkok could number more than 300 athletes and officials it was revealed yesterday - twice the number who took part at the Hiroshima Games in 1994. At the moment, 400 athletes and officials are vying for places in the SAR contingent to take part in the Bangkok Games from December 6-20. This huge number represents the combined applicants from 27 different sports associations. Hong Kong's top sports official, Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, once again stressed that cuts will inevitably have to be made before the final Games squad is approved. As a result, both athletes and individual sports could face the proverbial axe. 'There has to be a balance between participation and results. But we will send more athletes this time, as this is the first Asian Games under the SAR flag,' said Fok, president of the Amateur Sports Federation & Olympic Committee (ASF & OC), last night. 'In the past, we have talked so much about keeping a separate identity . . . the best way of securing that is by doing well,' said Fok. In Hiroshima, Hong Kong participated in 17 sports and sent 118 athletes and 33 officials. The territory, as it was then, won five silver and seven bronze medals, and ended up ranking 21st out of 42 nations. Fok added: 'As this is the first Asian Games we will be participating under the SAR flag, there will be a lot of focus on Hong Kong. And our main target should be to perform well.' The sports that have applied to go to Bangkok are: athletics, archery, badminton, basketball, canoeing, cycling, fencing, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, handball, hockey, judo, rowing, rugby, shooting, soccer, swimming, squash, snooker, table tennis, tennis, tenpin bowling, volleyball, windsurfing, wushu and yachting. The expected increase in the number of athletes this time is due to the application of six team sports - basketball, handball, hockey, rugby, soccer and volleyball. With The Asian Games organising committee team sports' deadline set for July 9, Hong Kong officials will have to make a decision as to which teams will compete by the end of next month. A six-member selection committee chaired by Fok, which will include ASF & OC secretary-general Pang Chung and senior vice-president Frank Fu, was set up last night to make a decision on both the team sports and individual sports, with the latter to know their fate in late August.