Former mainlander's career in limbo after Beijing KO leads to Malaysian misery Former world number one Zhou Mi was left out in the cold for the second time in a week when she was denied the right to represent Hong Kong at this week's Asian championships. Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) ruled that athletes who do not hold HKSAR passports would not be allowed to represent Hong Kong at the Beijing Olympics, unless they had represented the territory at previous Olympics. And Zhou, an ex-mainlander, has lost out again. The Asian championships, starting in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, today, are the final chance for Asian players to qualify for the Games. 'She [Zhou] was at first accepted by the organisers, but was subsequently rejected, with tournament officials saying there were problems over her eligibility,' said Hong Kong coach Chan Chi-choi, who left with his squad for the US$125,000 tournament yesterday. 'We have fought her case, but could not change their decision.' Last week's IOC ruling closed the Beijing door for Zhou. The 29-year-old arrived in Hong Kong in January 2007 under the government's Quality Migrant Admission Scheme. She still needs a couple of more years before she can fulfil the residency requirement to earn an HKSAR passport. The latest decision to bar her from the regional competition could have serious repercussions for her career if it sets a precedent for other representative competitions. Zhou's world ranking plummeted to under 200 after she left the China team in 2005, but she has clawed her way back to 10th for Hong Kong as she fought for a return to the Olympics, where she won bronze in 2004. The world governing body, the Badminton World Federation, will notify member associations of all qualified players next month at the end of these qualifiers. Hong Kong's Wang Chen, the world number five, is now the top seed as China pulled their top four shuttlers out of the women's singles. The mainlanders have already comfortably qualified. Malaysia's Wong Mew-Choo is seeded second, while Yip Pui-yin of Hong Kong is third seed and stands a chance of securing enough world ranking points to consolidate a world top-16 position which would send her to Beijing. But China are sending their best players in the men's singles in order to salvage youngster Chen Jin's Olympic hopes. Chen, ranked fourth in the world, needs to reach the final or he could be squeezed out by Denmark's Kenneth Jonassen for an Olympic place. A team can send three players to the Games if they are all ranked in the world's top four. Hong Kong's Chan Yan-kit, ranked 19th, and Ng Wei, 20th, will fight for the only SAR Olympic spot as only one player goes to the Games if they rank outside the top 16.