THE stormy weather of the past few weeks has descended like a wet blanket on University of Hong Kong athletes gearing up for the 21st Triennial Intervarsity Games (TIG). Every three years, the best athletes from the Universitas Indonesia, the University of Malaya, the National University of Singapore and the Hong Kong University (HKU) join together to compete in 14 events. The four universities take turns to host the TIG and Hong Kong is holding the 21st TIG this year - the last chance to host the games before 1997. Despite the importance of this event in Southeast Asia university sports development, HKU athletes have been frustrated in their attempts to reach peak fitness due to the bad weather, limited facilities and their full-time jobs. ''The heavy rain forced us to cancel some of the outdoor practice sessions. Together with the low attendance from competitors working full-time and living far away from the Stanley Ho Sports Centre, preparation for the TIG is insufficient,'' moaned Dana Chiu Tan, external vice-chairman of the organising committee of the TIG. The HKU athletics team consists of about 40 members with the majority holding full-time jobs. Since the Stanley Ho Sports Centre does not have floodlights, practice cannot be carried out at night. Usually fewer than two-thirds of the team show up for practice under the guidance of one part-time coach. However, the HKU athletics team believes it still stands a good chance of success in the games which start on Sunday. ''This year's HKU team is even stronger than last year's TIG team. Elite athletes such as Derek Choi Wai-kin and Dominic Wong Kai-tung will definitely pose a threat to the predominantly Singaporean athletes,'' said Barry Sum Puk-kit, a Master of Philosophy student in Fine Arts.