THE Hongkong team left for the World Championships in Birmingham yesterday with bulging wallets after badminton chief Tong Yan-kai personally gave out $151,000 bonuses to the players for their international achievements in recent months. Hongkong Badminton Association president Tong is one of the territory's most generous sports leaders, offering cash incentives to the national team players for each win in international competitions. Last year he gave Wong Wai-lap, Chan Kin-ngai, Chan Siu-kwong, Ng Pak-kum and Wong Chun-fan $30,000 each just for qualifying for the Olympic Games and there were also special awards for reaching the last 16 in Barcelona. Tong yesterday distributed $151,000 between 21 national squad members, boosting morale when eight of the beneficiaries flew off to Birmingham for the World Championships, from May 25 to June 6. Doubles specialist Chan Siu-kwong received $21,200 while Hongkong men's singles champion Chan Kin-ngai pocketed $16,700. Coach Chan Chi-choi is confident his happy charges will do well in the team event in which they are in Group Four with Germany, New Zealand and India. Hongkong will be fighting for promotion to become one of the world's top 12 teams and Chan rates the Germans as their main rivals. ''I'm pretty confident we can beat New Zealand and India but it will be a close match against Germany,'' said coach Chan, who put Hongkong on the badminton map when he and Amy Chan Lim-chee took the mixed doubles bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games when badminton was an exhibition sport. The Hongkong team comprises male players Chan Kin-ngai, Wong Wai-lap, Chan Siu-kwong and Ng Pak-kum and women players Chung Hoi-yuk, Wong Chun-fan, Chan Oi-nei and Cheng Yin-sat.