Patten would be welcomed back with open arms insists Davies
OLYMPIC silver medallist David Davies admits he wasn't surprised by Cassie Patten's decision to retire from swimming - but he insists the door is always open for her to return.
FREE TO RETURN: David Davies would welcome Cassie Patten back to swimming with open arms
The 25-year-old - from Cardinham - called time on a career that produced Olympic 10km open water bronze and twice world open water silver in October due to a persistent shoulder injury.
Patten battled the injury at July's World Championships in Shanghai where she failed to qualify for next year's Olympics in the 10km event after finishing outside the required top ten in 21st.
However Davies, who won Olympic open water silver in Beijing in 2008, the same Games where Patten took bronze, believes she would be welcomed back with open arms.
"Cassie had a lot of problems with her shoulder and she had been battling that for a long time," said Davies - who is lending his support for British Swimming's Big Splash campaign.
"And I wasn't massively surprised that she decided to retire. It is sad to hear that she has retired but you never know what could happen.
"The door is never closed and she can always come back if she wants to - she is a terrific swimmer and she is still young and obviously an Olympic medallist.
"I have been with her on the British team and open water teams and she was one of the characters and I wish her the best in whatever she does now."
Davies is yet to qualify for next year's Olympics himself, both fitness and form contributing factors, but insists Patten has contributed heavily to open water swimming in Britain.
"Open water is a rising sport internationally and in Britain you have got talent beyond myself, Dan Fogg and Tom Allen and beyond Keri-Anne Payne and Cassie," he added,
"So it is looking good for the future and any sport that has a bit of success people do try and emulate it and it inspires them to do something similar."
British Swimming's Big Splash campaign is supported by principal partner British Gas, and supporting partners Kellogg's and Speedo. For more information on great swimming activities and offers visit www.bigsplash.co.uk
© Sportsbeat 2012