May 25, 2024

Marketa Davidova, is she the biathlete of the future?

Last update: 01/07/2021

Marketa Davidova, Makulaa among friends, is one of the most talented biathletes of her generation. She grew up in the Jizera Mountains, a mountain range which is part of the Western Sudetes, on the border between the Czech Republic and Poland. Growing up in this environment which was perfectly suited for winter sports, she from a young age enjoyed cross country skiing as well as riding and looking after horses.

Together with a group of other young and talented athletes like; Lisa Vittozzi, Justine Braisaz-Bouchet, Julia Simon, Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold and Elvira Oeberg, Makulaa is likely to dominate the sport during the next five to ten years.

The largest success of her career so far is the gold medal she won in the 15KM during the 2021 World Championships in Pokljuka, Slovenia. Marketa Davidova shot perfectly hitting 20 of 20 shots and relegated Sweden’s Hanne Oeberg to the silver medal position. Davidova beat the bronze medalist Ingrid Landmark Tandrevold by more than a full minute.

After the race, in an interview with, Marketa said:

It’s unbelievable. I’m still waiting to realize that I finished first. What makes me the happiest is that I shot clean. And that it worked out for the first place. It’s something unreal, a beautiful extra bonus. I was calmer than in some of the other races earlier in the World Championships. Coming in for the fourth and final shooting I managed to stay calm, the situation did not stress me much. I’m really glad it worked out that way, even though I was lucky because some shots weren’t exactly central.”

Even if we think that Makulaa’s victory was fully deserved her comment displays a level of modesty and maturity beyond her years.

Some three years earlier she proved her credentials as a junior athlete picking up the gold medal in the pursuit of the 2018 World Junior Championship in Otepaa (Estonia) after getting silver behind Poland’s Kamilla Zuk in the sprint.

Marketa Davidova competed in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. She took part in all the six races, with her best finishing position being eighth in the mixed relay. Her best individual result came in the sprint where she finished 15th.

When the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics will start, Davidova will be 25 years old and likely closer to the peak of her powers. It would not be at all surprising if she will become one of the dominating biathletes of the games.

Her World Cup breakthrough came when she finished third in the Indiviudal in Pokljuka on December 6th 2018.

She followed this up by winning the sprint in Antholz on January 24th 2019.

And getting 2nd behind Laura Dahlmeier in the Mass Start three days later.

She moved in to the red jersey as she took the lead of the Individual part of the World Cup when finishing second in the shortened individual in Canmore (Canada).

Eventually she finished the year in third place in the small Individual Crystal Bowl competition and 21st in the Overall World Cup standing. Her third place finish in the 15KM Individual World Cup was hugely impressive as she only took part in three of the season’s five races.

Together with her team mates, Eva Kristejn Puskarcikova, Ondrej Moravec and Michal Krcmar, she won a bronze medal in the mixed relay during the World Championship in Antholz in February 2020. The Czech team shot very well, with both Davidova and Moravec not missing a single target.

Makulaa’s greatest strength as a biathlete is her impressive skiing speed. This is probably because she started doing Cross Country skiing and switched to Biathlon in 2010. Even if she is still a comparatively young athlete she is already among the fastest skiers on the women’s World Cup circuit.

One area where she has room for improvement is her shooting. Her average accuracy percentage of the 19/20 season of 79 percent, 86 percent prone and 73 percent standing, was not at all bad. Still it was very good that she managed to improve it to 82 percent, 89 percent prone and 76 percent standing during the 20/21 season.

Even if 82 percent is far from bad most of the athletes who finished above her, shoots even more accurately. Furthermore Davidova will often give away some time with her shooting speed, even if this too has been improving steadily year by year.

SeasonWorld Cup RankWorld PointsMajor Medals
2020/202111649 World Championships 2021 Pokljuka: Individual
2019/202014478 World Championships 2020 Antholz: Mixed Relay

Her rifle is catching the eye as it is decorated with unicorns in bright colours. This makes sense as her hobby since even before her teenage years has been to ride horses.

In 2019 Marketa received a bachelor’s degree in animal sciences, which she had studied for at the Czech University of Life Sciences.

Makulaa loves animals and is currently studying two related master’s degrees; “Reproductive biotechnology” as well as “Breeding and animal nutrition and dietetics” at the Czech University of Life Sciences. She has indicated that she in the future may pursue studies at the faculty of veterinary medicine at the University in Brno.

She prefers the summer season to winter as the evenings are longer and warmer. Aerobics is one of her favourite ways of exercising.

The YouTube channel of IBU TV did a 20/20 interview in Nove Mesto with her as she was one of the athletes most people voted to have them interview.

During the interview Marketa, tells that she is still studying, really likes porridge and that if she got stuck on an island and could choose three biathletes to have with her, she would choose her good friend and roommate while traveling on the World Cup circuit, Eva Kristejn Puskarcikova. And maybe also the Boe brothers as they could need some strong men to take care of them and maybe catch some animals to eat 😉

Four years after Gabriela Koukalova’s gold medal from the sprint event at the Biathlon World Championships in Hochfilzen, the Czech biathlon fans have a new darling to celebrate.

Gabriela Koukalova indicated that she was impressed by Davidova’s achievement, commenting to

It’s always nice to see that you have a successor and can pass the baton on. In addition, Markéta deserves this success after all the troubled races and I hope that with this result she will lift the rest of the team. I know how it always motivated everyone when someone succeeded in something. There are still a lot of races left until the end of the season, I believe that now it will have a nicer turn again, and even if it doesn’t, Markéta is done and doesn’t have to prove anything anymore.”

Marketa’s coach, Egil Gjelland who himself is both a World and Olympic relay champion as well as a winner of one individual World Cup event, told after the race:

Markéta was phenomenal today. I was convinced that Markéta and I were going in the right direction. We have now confirmed that. I am happy. The work we did together has paid off. Earlier, when I watched Markéta in training, I saw how she wanted it. I believed she was on her way to a day like this. This is just the beginning. Wait until she has more experience. When she learns to deal with changes in weather, wind, more challenging conditions like they were over the weekend. Now she has shown the world that she can. She will show it again, for sure. She is the biathlete of the future. However, like most young and developing biathletes we should her results to go up and down. Just please, don’t rush her. She is the World Champion now, let her enjoy it.”

We agree wholeheartedly with Makulaa’s trainer. She very well could be the biathlete of the future!

Sportindepth’s first version of the season simulation for the 2021-22 season, predicts Marketa Davidova as the most likely winner of the women’s U25-cup. She is even a contender for the overall world cup, as our model sees her as the 10th most likely winner in that competition.

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad

Mathis Brorstad is a Norwegian freelance writer. He is mainly covering Athletics, Biathlon and other Winter Sports. In the past he has done work on odds and probabilities.

View all posts by Mathis Brorstad →

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