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National Post Sports

Dragon chic: From left, Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, Real’s James Rodriguez, Gareth Bale, Iker Casillas, Marcelo and Xabi Alonso, and Real’s representative Emilio Butragueno, right, pose for the photographers during the presentation of the Real Madrid’s new Champions League kit at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014. The new Champions League kit was designed by Yohji Yamamoto. Bottom: Bale’s new soccer shoes. (Photos: Andres Kudacki/The Associated Press)

Kevin Ward Jr. was remembered as a “small-town boy” who loved his sport during Thursday’s funeral for the 20-year-old dirt-track racer whose car was hit by one driven by NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.

More than 700 mourners jammed the South Lewis Senior High School auditorium for the 90-minute service, a mix of tears and cheerful recollections of someone who began racing at a young age.

“Even if he had rough day, he always had a smile,” a tearful Dylan Swiernick said of his best friend and car-obsessed buddy. “We were just two small-town boys trying to make it in the big world. He was always working on something. It was unbelievable how smart he was.”

After the service, as Ward’s casket was taken to the hearse for the short trip to the cemetery, mourners let loose helium balloons in orange, white and black, his racing colours. (Photos: Mike Groll/The Associated Press, Rich Barnes/Getty Images)

A small memorial of flowers is seen at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Canandaigua, N.Y. after Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. (Photo: Mel Evans/The Associated Press)Once the first fan video of the incident hit YouTube around 2:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, the Internet was quick to form its Warren Commission to review the two laps depicted in the video and to apportion blame as quickly as possible.Anyone who watches the video will see the actions of the people of involved — Ward more so than Stewart — but none of us will ever know what was going through Ward’s mind when he decided to get out of the car. It’s a pretty good bet that we will never know what was going through Stewart’s mind when he came upon Ward. Only Stewart knows what he was thinking the moment he first caught sight of Ward waving and pointing at him. Was he was swerving to avoid a sudden danger or stepping on the gas to spray a little dirt as some have suggested as a way to answer an argument on a dirt track? Either answer is a hell only Tony Stewart has to live with.There is one little bit of this tragedy that Stewart does bear responsibility for: the ever-increasing, fan-approved race-track road rage that is a popular staple of highlight shows and top-10 lists.Read the full story here.

A small memorial of flowers is seen at Canandaigua Motorsports Park Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, in Canandaigua, N.Y. after Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr. (Photo: Mel Evans/The Associated Press)

Once the first fan video of the incident hit YouTube around 2:30 a.m. ET on Sunday morning, the Internet was quick to form its Warren Commission to review the two laps depicted in the video and to apportion blame as quickly as possible.

Anyone who watches the video will see the actions of the people of involved — Ward more so than Stewart — but none of us will ever know what was going through Ward’s mind when he decided to get out of the car. It’s a pretty good bet that we will never know what was going through Stewart’s mind when he came upon Ward. Only Stewart knows what he was thinking the moment he first caught sight of Ward waving and pointing at him. Was he was swerving to avoid a sudden danger or stepping on the gas to spray a little dirt as some have suggested as a way to answer an argument on a dirt track? Either answer is a hell only Tony Stewart has to live with.

There is one little bit of this tragedy that Stewart does bear responsibility for: the ever-increasing, fan-approved race-track road rage that is a popular staple of highlight shows and top-10 lists.

Read the full story here.

Members of the grounds crew push water off the first fairway during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. Rory McIlroy surged into the lead on Friday morning. (Photo: John Locher/The Associated Press)

Members of the grounds crew push water off the first fairway during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Valhalla Golf Club on Friday, Aug. 8, 2014, in Louisville, Ky. Rory McIlroy surged into the lead on Friday morning. (Photo: John Locher/The Associated Press)

How Milos Raonic perfected the booming serve that made him a star: The man who helped create one of the hardest tennis serves on the planet says it all begins with the grip.Form your hand into a V, he says, with the index finger and thumb aligned across the beveled edge of the handle. That creates a slightly opened face with the racquet head and in turn creates more spin on the ball. Now get your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and point your toes in a 45-degree angle to the baseline.From there, it’s about falling into a rhythm.Start with your arms and racquet high. Let them fall down. Then swing them back up again, while tossing the ball in front of you and lifting the racquet behind you.“One, two, three,” Casey Curtis says in a singsong cadence that could be set to a metronome.This is the basics of the serve Curtis taught world No. 6 Milos Raonic 15 years ago. The one that Raonic repeated over and over and over again until he could do it in his sleep or, as Curtis suggests, with his eyes closed. Read the full story.

How Milos Raonic perfected the booming serve that made him a star: The man who helped create one of the hardest tennis serves on the planet says it all begins with the grip.

Form your hand into a V, he says, with the index finger and thumb aligned across the beveled edge of the handle. That creates a slightly opened face with the racquet head and in turn creates more spin on the ball. Now get your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and point your toes in a 45-degree angle to the baseline.

From there, it’s about falling into a rhythm.

Start with your arms and racquet high. Let them fall down. Then swing them back up again, while tossing the ball in front of you and lifting the racquet behind you.

“One, two, three,” Casey Curtis says in a singsong cadence that could be set to a metronome.

This is the basics of the serve Curtis taught world No. 6 Milos Raonic 15 years ago. The one that Raonic repeated over and over and over again until he could do it in his sleep or, as Curtis suggests, with his eyes closed.

Read the full story.

Meaghan Benfeito of Canada competes in the Women’s 10m Platform Preliminaries at Royal Commonwealth Pool during day eight of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 31, 2014 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Meaghan Benfeito of Canada competes in the Women’s 10m Platform Preliminaries at Royal Commonwealth Pool during day eight of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 31, 2014 in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. (Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy had to work a little harder and sweat a little more. No matter. Just like his other two majors, this British Open was never really in doubt.
With two key birdies around the turn, and a powerful tee shot at just the right moment, McIlroy completed a wire-to-wire victory Sunday at Royal Liverpool and captured the third leg of the career Grand Slam. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland joined some elite company beyond the names on the silver claret jug.
Jack Nicklaus (23) and Tiger Woods (24) are the only other players to capture three different majors by the time they were 25. McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, both by eight shots. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

Rory McIlroy had to work a little harder and sweat a little more. No matter. Just like his other two majors, this British Open was never really in doubt.

With two key birdies around the turn, and a powerful tee shot at just the right moment, McIlroy completed a wire-to-wire victory Sunday at Royal Liverpool and captured the third leg of the career Grand Slam. The 25-year-old from Northern Ireland joined some elite company beyond the names on the silver claret jug.

Jack Nicklaus (23) and Tiger Woods (24) are the only other players to capture three different majors by the time they were 25. McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, both by eight shots. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison)

So much for those second-round doldrums. Rory McIlroy is holding up just fine on Day 2 of the British Open.As for Tiger Woods, it looks as though he’s still a bit rusty.McIlroy, who has struggled on Fridays throughout the year for reasons that are a mystery to him and everyone else, was 9 under par coming down the stretch at Royal Liverpool, putting him three shots ahead of the field.Woods, on the other hand, went tumbling off the leaderboard with a double-bogey at the first hole and a bogey at the second. Looks like that 15th major title will have to wait a little longer, which really shouldn’t be surprising for someone playing for only the second time since back surgery. (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

So much for those second-round doldrums. Rory McIlroy is holding up just fine on Day 2 of the British Open.

As for Tiger Woods, it looks as though he’s still a bit rusty.

McIlroy, who has struggled on Fridays throughout the year for reasons that are a mystery to him and everyone else, was 9 under par coming down the stretch at Royal Liverpool, putting him three shots ahead of the field.

Woods, on the other hand, went tumbling off the leaderboard with a double-bogey at the first hole and a bogey at the second. Looks like that 15th major title will have to wait a little longer, which really shouldn’t be surprising for someone playing for only the second time since back surgery. (Photo: Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The Toronto Blue Jays are back on the field on Friday night against the Texas Rangers to begin a run toward the playoffs after the all-star break. Click through for the National Post’s look back at the first half of the season in words and in charts and a look ahead to what the Jays will need to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

The Toronto Blue Jays are back on the field on Friday night against the Texas Rangers to begin a run toward the playoffs after the all-star break. Click through for the National Post’s look back at the first half of the season in words and in charts and a look ahead to what the Jays will need to make the playoffs for the first time since 1993.

Jason Dufner of the United States hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (A polarizing filter was used in the creation of this image.) (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Jason Dufner of the United States hits his tee shot on the 13th hole during the first round of The 143rd Open Championship at Royal Liverpool on July 17, 2014 in Hoylake, England. (A polarizing filter was used in the creation of this image.) (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)