Another day of athletics at Rio 2016, another chunk of history made. Here's what happened on day eight of track and field at the Olympics.

Perfect nine

Usain Bolt 2016 ()

There’s no other place to start than with how the night ended: Jamaica winning the men’s 4x100m.

We could talk about the Asian record for Japan to win silver (hence main image), or about the late disqualifiaction of the USA for passing the baton too early, or the fact that that meant Canadian Andre De Grasse picked up his third medal of his first Olympics.

But a night like this is for celebrating the man who brought the baton home for gold on his last ever Olympic appearance. Usain Bolt, the character, the world record breaker, the nine-time champion of this arena, the greatest sprinter that ever lived.

Fab five

Allyson Felix 2016 ()

In the women’s relay final, the US team didn’t have to go through anywhere near the drama they needed to in order to make it there in the first place (see yesterday’s re-run saga).

From lane one, they took gold in the second fastest time in history to retain the title they won in 2012. Part of their quartet was Allyson Felix, who becomes the first woman ever to win give Olympic gold medals in athletics.

It all seemed easy in the end. No doubt they will work out a way to make it hard for themselves next time around, just because.

Walk this way (you can’t)

Yohann Diniz ()

You’ve got to feel for 50km race walker Yohann Diniz. The Frenchman, who holds the world record, failed to finish his race at Beijing 2008 and was disqualified from it at London 2012 for poor form.

He set off like a man determined in this morning’s final. But not soon after reaching halfway with a commanding lead of one minute and forty seconds, he stopped. Jarred Tallent caught up and soon passed him, as did the rest of the race as the Diniz continued to suffer with what transpired to be stomach issues.

It happens, and it would cause most people to throw in the towel and head for the john. Diniz didn’t let it. He finished eighth in 3:46:43 (try running that). The race walk is a test of athletic and technical endurance; the grit Diniz displayed to finish is a measure of all who take the event on.

NB: The race was won by Matej Toth, securing Slovakia's first Olympic medal in athletics.

Walking a different path

Liu Hong and Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez ()

Competing at the race walk in Rio wasn’t Maria Guadalupe Gonzalez’s Olympic dream. The Mexican originally wanted to represent her country in the boxing at London 2012. A knee injury dashed that aim, so she took to walking.

Three years on from linking up with her now coach and the 27-year-old was in the mix to become the Olympic champion. It was only in the closing 500m that Liu Hong pulled away to beat her across the line, though that does not diminish Gonzalez’s remarkable silver medal one jot.

Pole vault’s comin’ home

Ekaterini Stefanidi in the pole vault at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)

Katerini Stefanidi has been this year’s most consistent female pole vaulter, she won four Diamond League meets and the European title on run of five comps of 4.80m+ clearances (only legends Jenn Suhr and Yelena Isinbayeva have gone so high so regularly before). Stefanidi can now add Olympic champion to her list of 2016 achievements.

The Greek athlete prevailed on countback over Sandi Morris after both athletes topped out at 4.85m, a win that ensures the nation responsible for inventing this whole jamboree in the first place gets a gold medal in athletics.

Fractured preparation

Sandi Morris in the pole vault at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Getty Images)

Morris, by matching the winning height, came as close as you can do to winning the gold (indeed her third attempt at 4.90m was probably as close as you can get to a clearance without clearing).

Tough luck, but the 24-year-old American should be delighted. In May her pole snapped mid-vault in Ostrava, breaking her wrist and looking to have wrecked her season.

That she was even in Rio is testament to her will; that she won a medal is nothing short of remarkable.

Another bite of the Cheruiyot

Vivian Cheruiyot 2016 ()

The result in the women’s 5000m final allows us to wheel out the most underrated pun of the 2016 Games (see sub-head).

After Almaz Ayana won 10,000m gold with a crushing world record last Friday, the accepted logic was that she’d do exactly the same over the shorter distance. She made a typical burst with 1800m gone to allow smug pundits to start patting themselves on the back (guilty).

Yet 1800m later she was sapped, and in her fading wake came a stomping Vivian Cheruiyot. The Kenyan won silver and bronze in the distance events in 2012. She took time out to have a child before returning to win 10k world title last year. With the victory in sight on the Olympic stage she powered home for Kenya’s first gold in the event, a second medal of the week for Cheruiyot after her 10,000m silver.

Her celebration was one of the most jubilant seen at the Games, fitting of an achievement that ranks as high as any all week.

Dilshod Nazarov likes this

Dilshod Nazarov ()

It wasn’t a classic hammer throw final – the gold was won with a sub-80m throw for the first time since 1984.

Winner Dilshod Nazarov won’t mind one bit. He’s got got a digital brand to massage, and winning Tajikistan's first ever Olympic gold medal is a great way to get to the deep tissue. 

“I've got hundreds, maybe thousands of 'likes' on my Facebook account,” the man from Tajikistan said after his win. CLICK HERE and let’s the Olympic champion some more.