NATIONAL coach Chan Chi-choi is quietly confident that the Hongkong men can spring a surprise or two at the East Asian Games this month in Shanghai. While acknowledging that the Chinese and South Koreans are likely to dominate, Chan did not rule out medal chances for Hongkong in any of the men's singles and team events as well as the mixed doubles competition. He said: ''Our boys have never been in a better frame of mind following our very good results at the recent Asian Team Championships. ''We gave both China and Malaysia a good fight although we lost 5-0 and for the first time we beat Japan. ''China and South Korea should fight it out for the team gold but we will be in the running for the bronze with Japan and Taiwan.'' Chan expects bold performances from Olympians Wong Wai-lap and Chan Kin-ngai in the singles competition with China only sending one ''star'' player in Liu Jun, reserving their number one, Wu Wenkai, for the World Championships which will be held in England the week following the East Asian Games. Wong had shown outstanding form at the Asian tournament last month when he pushed experienced Malaysian Foo Kok Keong the full distance and also gave Liu a scare. Chan Kin-ngai also did well, taking one game off China's Wu and could have taken the match had he not crumbled at the big points, allowing his more illustrious rival to regain control. ''Those very close matches against world class rivals have instilled confidence in Wong Wai-lap and Chan Kin-ngai and they now know they have the skill to hold their own against the leading players,'' said Chan Chi-choi. ''What they need is a breakthrough to propel them to the very top and the East Asian Games could be the event we have been waiting for.'' Hongkong also would have stood a reasonably good chance in men's doubles had Chan Siu-kwong and Ng Pak-kum, ranked 13th in the world, stuck together as a team. For tactical reasons, the team management decided to split the top pairing with Chan Siu-kwong teaming with Chow Kin-man while Ng will partner Wong. Chan Chi-choi said: ''The East Asian Games is part of our preparation for the World Championships and we must try out various doubles combinations otherwise we would be lost if either Chan Siu-kwong or Ng Pak-kum were injured.''