Olympic silver lining for Wigan’s Bibby

Great Britain's Daniel Bibby (left) and Fiji's Jasa Veremalua in action during the Rugby Sevens Men's Gold Medal Match
Great Britain's Daniel Bibby (left) and Fiji's Jasa Veremalua in action during the Rugby Sevens Men's Gold Medal Match

Wigan’s Dan Bibby is celebrating winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.

Team GB had no match for Fiji’s power and athleticism in the Rugby Sevens final.

And while the final scoreline of 43-7 was disappointing, comfort was provided by a silver medal for finishing second in the tournament.

Fiji took a 29-0 lead by half-time, and they finished the 20-minute-long match strongly to claim their first ever Olympic medal of any colour.

But Bibby, from Aspull, played a key role in helping Team GB to a podium place.

Earlier in the day, the 25-year-old helped his side bank a place in the final with a tense, 7-5 victory over South Africa - guaranteeing them a silver or gold.

Bibby had put Team GB into the semi-finals with the only try of a tense, golden-point 5-0 victory against Argentina on Wednesday.

By then they had already claimed a stunning win against New Zealand and, the day earlier, won their pool games against Kenya and Japan.

Rugby Sevens was only added to the Olympics this year.

Bibby, a former Standish High School student, started playing the sport at Aspull RU, where his dad Andy coached.

He has been a full-time member of the England squad for several years, taking him all around the world and including an appearance at the 2014 Commomwealth Games.

But last night’s achievement will surely rank as his greatest achievement.

He joins an elite group of Wiganers who won Olympic medals which includes athlete David Grindley (bronze, 1992) and swimmer June Croft (silver, 1980 and bronze, 1984), and trails back to Isaac Bentham, who won gold in the water polo in 1912.

Wigan’s Kyle Evans will start his bid for Rio glory in the BMX next Wednesday.

And cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins, a Wigan Warriors life-member who has close ties with the town, is gunning for a medal in the team pursuit after they were fastest qualifiers with 3.51.943 last night.