Eligibility issues are clouding former mainlander Jiang Huajun's position as the spearhead of Hong Kong's Olympic women's squad. Jiang, a former China national team member who arrived in Hong Kong in 2005, was listed seventh when the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) yesterday released the world rankings. The top 20 men's and women's singles players in the rankings qualify automatically for the Beijing Games, along with a maximum of two per national Olympic committee. Jiang and ninth-ranked Tie Yana are earmarked to form the Hong Kong women's squad, according to the Hong Kong Table Tennis Association (HKTTA). However, International Olympic Committee rules require an athlete to possess the passport of the country he or she is to represent at the Olympics, and Jiang has apparently yet to meet the requirement. 'As far as we understand, there have already been discussions between the Hong Kong Olympic Committee [HKOC] and various individual sports associations regarding the eligibility issue,' said an HKTTA spokesman. 'I don't think Jiang is the only one who has such a problem and this must be resolved by the HKOC as a whole for all other sports involved. 'In terms of performance, Jiang is the obvious choice because she has been working very hard over the past couple of years to gain such a high world ranking. We do not want to deny her the place because of something that is out of our control.' At the Athens Games in 2004, eight Hong Kong athletes required a special dispensation from the IOC to take part, because they did not have passports. In the rankings released yesterday, Li Ching, ranked 13th in the men's singles, has gained direct entry, while world number 22 Ko Lai-chak has also made it because seven players from mainland China occupy top 20 positions and only two are allowed to take part. Li and Ko won a silver medal in the doubles in Athens, but the discipline will not be contested in Beijing, having been replaced by a team aggregate event. Hong Kong can automatically qualify for the three-member team event if they can win the last spot through the continental qualification, to be held here in March. Hong Kong men's coach Chan Kong-wah said Cheung Yuk, who also competed in the Sydney and Athens Olympics, is likely to get the remaining berth.