SIZE is not everything a world-class swimmer needs. One only needs to look at the Guangzhou Jin Qiu girls' squad from China, currently training in Hong Kong, and who are expected to dominate October's Asian Games in Hiroshima. It is not easy to pick out the Jin Qui swimmers when they train at the South China Athletic Association (SCAA). Unlike the hulking figures that characterise an Olympic competition, these are lithe athletes. With an average height of only five-foot three-inches, the seven-strong squad are equal in physical stature to their Hong Kong counterparts. And according to SCAA's swimming manager Johnny Li, that should help remove any stigma Hong Kong swimmers have about size being crucial to success. Said Li: ''The most obvious aspect about these girls is that they are unlike other Chinese swimmers in body size. ''These girls are relatively small but yet they are world class or potentially world class. ''They prove that it is not necessary to be big and that should be an inspiration to Hong Kong swimmers.'' The star of the squad is 19-year-old backstroke specialist He Cihong, who is expected to win gold medals in the 100 metres and 200 metres backstroke events at Hiroshima. But the rising star is 13-year-old Xia Jin, who joined the squad nine months ago and in that time, under head coach Wang Lin, has lowered her 100 metres freestyle time to 56 seconds from just over one minute. She is unlikely to be in Hiroshima, though, as she is being groomed for bigger things at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, United States. The squad is made up of swimmers who originally tried out for the national team but failed. They were then transferred to Wang's army outfit and most of them are now back in the national reckoning. Said Wang: ''Training methods has a lot to do with success. The most a swimmer should swim in training is 1,500 metres. The objective is for the swimmer to perform well in their particular distance.'' The squad, which also includes Zhou Guonbin, Qu Yun, Yuan Yuan, Le Ying, Hong Shu, will be in Hong Kong until Monday.