Leading trio persuaded to switch sides after dismal table tennis performances Hong Kong's disappointing table tennis team will return from the National Games tomorrow without any medals but not empty-handed - they will have three new recruits from the mainland. The trio comprises women's player Jiang Huajun of Shandong and two men, Tang Peng and Jiang Tianyi. Both Jiang Huajun and Tang are members of the China national squad, while Jiang, also from Shandong, has represented China in the world junior championships. Tang, meanwhile, is a key player on the Beijing team, where he has featured in both team and individual events at the National Games. Tang reached the last 16 in the singles. Jiang also represented Shandong in the women's singles and team events. She reached the quarter-finals in the singles, but lost to former Olympic champion Wang Nan of Liaoning. She also played a key role for Shandong in the team event, where they finished with a silver medal. None of the Hong Kong players reached the semi-final stage. The best result came from the women's team who lost a thrilling five-setter to Shandong in the quarter-finals, of which Jiang also featured but lost her tie 3-0 to Lin Ling. They eventually finished seventh, while medal hopefuls Ko Lai-chak and Li Ching lost in the quarter-finals of the men's doubles and finished sixth. The three newcomers will come to Hong Kong with the rest of the squad tomorrow. They will train briefly before making their debut for Hong Kong in the German Open (November 9-13) and Sweden Open (November 17-20). 'We will give Jiang a trial in the two Opens and see how she can fit into the current squad,' said Hong Kong women's team coach Li Huifan. 'She stopped playing a couple of years ago and we need to find out whether she can still perform at the top level.' Apart from playing in the singles at the two Opens, Jiang will also partner Song Ah-sim in the doubles at the German Open and Lau Sau-fei at the Sweden Open. 'We need to find a new combination for the women's team following the arrival of Jiang,' added the coach. The two men's players will form a doubles team for both the German and Sweden Opens where they will also play in the singles. According to international rules, players can represent another region or country in the Pro Tours shortly after they register with the International Table Tennis Association, but the eligibility rules for representing a new country or region at major games such as the Olympic and Asian Games are much stricter as they will be required to fulfil a three-year residency rule and become holders of a Hong Kong passport. It is not known whether the trio will be able to represent Hong Kong at next year's Asian Games in Doha, or the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but they have already been ruled out of next year's world championship team events in Germany. Meanwhile, Hong Kong's last medal hope in table tennis vanished yesterday as top seeds Tie Yana and Zhang Rui lost in the quarter-finals of the women's doubles. Against Inter-city Games champions Liu Juan and Yao Jingwen of Hubei, the duo failed to play at their best and lost 3-1. 'They could not take the opportunities when they came,' said coach Li.