By Pritha Sarkar
SOCHI, Russia, Feb 11 (Reuters) - If medals were handed out at the Olympics for 'best skaters in a comedy' - it seems no one can give the Italians a run for their money.
Eight years after ice dancers Barbara Fusar-Poli and Maurizio Margaglio created one of the all-time Olympic moments with a clumsy fall followed by the ultimate stare down, compatriots Nicole Della Monica and Matteo Guarise were again providing laughs at a Winter Games.
On Tuesday, the strains of their Samson and Delilah music had barely begun when pairs skater Guarise was seen wildly flapping his arms trying to catch his partner's hand as he went flying on to his backside.
Did he fall trying to do a triple Salchow or a throw triple Salchow or even a double twist lift? No he fell doing absolutely nothing.
It was no wonder that Guarise burst into laughter, albeit rather sheepishly, as soon as the couple's music ended and he pretended to cover his face in embarrassment as he skated off the ice.
Della Monica also found the episode hilarious, as did their coach, 1984 Olympic pairs champion Oleg Vasiliev.
"I was so busy thinking about the elements that I forgot to think about my feet. I thought that part is so easy for me, so I just didn't think about it," a grinning Guarise told reporters.
"The beginning was weird... really, you need to focus even on the easiest things - people fall walking every day, you know."
At the Turin Olympics, Margaglio lost his balance while lifting Fusar Poli and they both tumbled to the ground covered in a heap of sequins.
When the music stopped, the two stood staring at each other for what seemed an eternity. Hand on hips, Fusar Poli's angry eyes burned through Margaglio in a face-off that led to one critic declaring: "Barbara would have shot him immediately if she had a pistol." (Editing by Ed Osmond)