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Surrey, B.C. – Canada has finalized its 2018 national team roster that will compete in the upcoming Canada Cup International Softball Championship July 13-22 at Softball City in Surrey. Central to the team’s success will be Port Coquitlam’s own Jennifer Salling.

Salling joined the senior women’s national team in 2006 and has represented Canada at the 2008 Olympic Games, and both the 2007 and 2011 Pan American Games, earning back to back silver medals. She has also experienced a great deal of success at the collegiate level, being named a first team all American in 2007 while attending the University of Oregon and later won a national championship with the University of Washington in 2009.

For Salling, there is nothing that compares with putting on the maple leaf jersey – and with two years until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and softball returning as an official Olympic sport, Salling suggests she is all in.

“We’re working as hard as possible to chase that dream. I look at it as a two-year commitment with no reservations and no distractions because I want to have no regrets come 2020. Regardless of what happens, that will be the time to start the next chapter in my life and if we can have success, that will be the icing on the cake.”

As much as Salling has an overwhelmingly competitive spirit, she also holds a soft spot for the Canada Cup – and is very much looking forward to the homecoming.

“Canada Cup holds a special place for my entire family. I have so many memories of my grandmother waving the Canadian flag in the left field bleachers. There was no better feeling than attending those games as a kid and there is no better feeling than playing at Softball City in front of those fans, where the atmosphere will be awesome.”

The Canada Cup tournament will host an estimated 1,200 elite athletes spanning five divisions: Women’s international, Futures Gold (U19), Futures Select (U19), Showcase Gold (16U) and Showcase Select (16U).

“The fact that almost half of this year’s national team hails from British Columbia says a great deal about the quality of softball players emerging from this province,” said Canada Cup Chairman Greg Timm. “Even more significant is that this squad, with a core nucleus from BC will be working, training and playing together to achieve a berth in the 2020 Olympics.”