Coach Chan Chi-choi yesterday lashed out at the qualifying system for the Olympics, saying Hong Kong's talented men's pair of Ma Che-kong and Yau Kwun-yuen had been robbed of their place at the Sydney Games. 'I'm very disappointed because they had a good chance of competing in Sydney after having won eight titles in the past 12 months. It's a pity that they couldn't qualify automatically as they're the most consistent players in my team,' said Chan. He laid the blame squarely on the European Championships last week, which allowed players competing in Glasgow, Scotland, to catch up to Ma and Yau in the world rankings. 'The European Championships were decisive because some European pairs behind Ma and Yau in the rankings list obtained a lot of points,' said Chan. 'The worst thing was that it was exclusively for Europeans and we weren't allowed to play there.' Hong Kong, however, have four other places in Sydney. Tam Kai-chuen and Ng Wei will compete in the men's singles, while Ling Wan-ting will take part in the women's singles. All three won automatic qualification by virtue of their world rankings. A fourth place - in the women's singles - will go to either Wang Chen, a former world junior champion when she competed for China, or Koon Wai-chee. The Hong Kong Badminton Association will pick one of them soon, based on their world ranking and other criteria. Hong Kong number one Tam, who had been denied a late entry to the Atlanta Olympics by Hong Kong's sports chiefs four years ago, will be making his Olympics debut in Sydney this September. He has set his target at finishing in the top eight, but refused to put himself under too much pressure. 'I don't want to get carried away. I played badly before because I expected too much of myself,' Tam, 24, said. 'I have a more positive attitude now. I'm just going to enjoy myself and play matches as they come.'