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Thursday, December 02, 1999, updated at 15:06(GMT+8)
Sports Beaten Hong Kong Hold On To Their Place In Top Eight

Hong Kong will remain in Asia's elite group despite a disastrous campaign at the recent Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, where the SAR lost all five of their games.

As the Hong Kong team trooped dejectedly back home on Tuesday, they remained happy in the knowledge that they will still be rated among Asia's top eight teams.

Hong Kong finished eighth in the tournament but second from bottom ahead of Sri Lanka. But they had Kazakhstan to thank for their top-eight ranking after the former Soviet Republic failed to turn up for the tournament.

Hong Kong were soundly beaten by Malaysia (8-1), Japan (4-1), India (5-0), China (4-0) and Bangladesh, against whom they squandered a 2-0 lead before losing 5-2.

"We're disappointed with Hong Kong's performance, especially our game against Bangladesh. We were pressing Bangladesh but we lost our concentration. If we had beaten Bangladesh, we would have finished higher up," said Hong Kong Hockey Association vice-president Billy Dillon. "We have to get the players' interest going . . . and we have to discuss what we are going to do in the future. I think we still have a couple of youngsters who have potential."

Dillon said national coach Mark Bailey's contract was being negotiated after the former Davis Cup player's 5.5-month contract finished yesterday.

"We will decide in the next 10 days or so if we will keep Mark," said Dillon.

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