HONG KONG'S best hope in the pool, Katie Lau, missed out on the women's 100 metres butterfly final by two places on the fourth day of the Commonwealth Games swimming competition. Lau, ranked fifth in the 21-strong field before the event, finished fourth in her heat in a time of 1:04.16 after slowing down considerably in the final three metres. She was eight-hundreths of a second behind Amanda Loots of South Africa, who also failed to qualify for the final. Canada's Jessica Amey sneaked into the final with the slowest qualifying time of 1:03.36. Australia's Susan O'Neill set the fastest time in the heats with 1:00.86, followed closely by her compatriot Petria Thomas in 1:00.92. The territory's Robyn Lamsam, also swimming in the women's 100 metres butterfly, was sixth in her heat, clocking a time of 1:06.99. Hong Kong assistant coach Chan Yu-hoi said Lau had no previous experience of major international meets. ''This is her first big tournament so we did not know how she would be able to handle it,'' said Chan. Lau got off to a good start and after 25 metres was in second place. She maintained the pace up to the half-way mark, turning with the top three in 29.08 seconds. But within 10 metres of the turn, the heat winner Thomas steamed ahead of the field. Lau was soon overtaken by Singapore's Joscelin Yeo and Canada's Shona Kitson. Snowie Pang also failed to reach the final in the women's 100 metres breaststroke. She was fifth in her heat of six swimmers, clocking 1:17.24. Pang's best time for the event is 1:14.71. Her heat was won by South African Penelope Heyns in a new Games record of 1:10.22.