Youngster Jiang Tianyi will spearhead Hong Kong's challenge at this week's pro tour grand finals in Macau. The 21-year-old finished ninth in the pro-tour year-end rankings, ahead of Olympians Cheung Yuk and Li Ching, who ended 11th and 13th respectively. All three have qualified for the men's singles event at the Tap Seac Pavilion when the US$290,000 finals begin on Thursday. Jiang and teammate Tang Peng have also qualified for the doubles, while in the women's event, Jiang Huajun and Tie Yana qualified in the singles and as a team in the doubles. The finals feature the world's top 16 players in the singles and eight pairs in the doubles. 'This is the first time we have three singles players qualifying for the finals,' said Hong Kong coach Chan Kwong-wah. 'It reflects all the hard work we have put in over the past 12 months on the circuit. 'It is going to be tough winning a medal in Macau because all the top players will be there, but it will be a good opportunity for Jiang to gain more international exposure before he begins his preparations for the East Asian Games [next year], and  Asian Games.' Despite failing to gain a place in the three-member Olympic squad in Beijing, Jiang had an outstanding year on the world circuit, winning the Brazil Open in April, and reaching two semi-finals at the recent German and Polish Opens. 'He has great potential to lead the Hong Kong team in future, and the more he learns from the circuit, the better for us,' said the coach. In the women's division, coach Li Huifen had high hopes for her doubles pair, who finished second in the year-end rankings after capturing titles at the Chile and China Opens. 'Tie has maintained good form after reaching the singles quarter-finals in the Beijing Olympics and her combination with Jiang is getting better and better. 'Also, she has adapted well to the use of water-based glue on her bat, which has given her great advantage over other top players,' Li, who is hoping her charges will shine in Macau, added. The International Table Tennis Federation banned the use of glues containing harmful volatile compounds at the completion of the Olympics in August and replaced them with water-based alternatives. Tie and Jiang Huajun missed the final two opens in Germany and Poland due to their commitments in the China Super League, but were still able to qualify as top-16 players in the singles. 'Tie ranks 18th, but still reached the finals because three players who were ahead of her [in the standings] did not play sufficient tournaments to qualify,' said Li.