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Marijan Kajfeš: “When the skill is good, then the result is good”


A vice – champion of the European Championship - 2018 in Men’s category, a multiple champion of Croatia, a winner of world and European championships in team crossbow competitions - Marijan Kajfeš told us his sport story. Read about victories and defeats, hard trainings, unforgettable tournaments and, of course, a sincere love of crossbow shooting in an exclusive interview.

- Tell us, please, your crossbow story. How did you go in for crossbow sport?

- I started with crossbow shooting in 2008. Before that I was shooting with 10m air rifle since 2006. After I had finished secondary school, my coach asked me if I wanted to try crossbow shooting. I was so happy that he invited me to train with him.

- What exactly attracted you in crossbow shooting?

- I was an average shooter in air rifle, so I could shoot this discipline only on the national level (10m rifle Anschutz 335). I wanted to be successful in my career, to have chance to get into national team, to become a champion, to travel. Thus, I found myself in crossbow shooting.

- How many years have you been doing crossbow shooting?

- 2020 is my 13th season or 13 years in crossbow shooting.


- How many titles do you have? What title is the most important for you and why?

- I have few titles of the national level and some ones of World and European level in team competition. Individually my best is a vice-champion in men category in 2018, European Championship in Parnu, Estonia. Shooting in Men/Women category isn`t easy. You shoot next to people who have been champions before, the best of the best and you know that you cannot make mistakes here, you must be 100% effective.

- When did you see your first serious result in crossbow sport?

- I gained a lot in result in Junior category. Equipment became better and I had more experience. Result depends on many factors in crossbow shooting. Once you start to shoot results as competitors in Men/Women categories and then you know that you have developed your skill a lot. But today, for example, cadets have better results than those in my time of being a cadet. Crossbow shooting has developed a lot.

- Do you remember your first victory? How was it? Where was it? And what feelings have you experienced then?

- My first victory was in 2008 in team competition in category cadets, Weinfelden, Switzerland - World Championship. In the same World Championship, I won the second place individually. Croatian team members remember that I ran one circle on the athletes track with national flag, I felt like a champion though I didn`t won a gold medal. I was happy to be a part of the national team. After that first medal I wanted more and more…and you see now, it`s 2020, and I shoot with the same will which I had at the beginning.

- Do you remember your first defeat? Were you really upset then?

- My first defeat was at shootout after finals, when one single shoot can make someone a champion. I felt it that time, I finished at the 2nd place after the shootout. I felt bad because I was so close to become a champion.

- If we talk about emotions, can you describe your feelings when you are at the shooting range? And are these feelings always the same?

- Sometimes I feel excited more than I usually do and it`s expressed with the first three shoots at the start, and later it comes back to normal level. I usually feel the same.

- How many times a week do you generally train to keep fit? What do you focus on in your workouts? Tell us, please, if it is not a secret!

- During a season we have trainings 5-6 times per week up to two hours daily. I`m not focused on a result as I`m focused on the technique avoiding mistakes to happen during the shoot. When the skill is good, then the result is good.

- What do you like doing besides shooting? Do you have any hobby? How do you usually spend your free time?

- I work out in gym, 5-6 times per week. Usually I work in office for 8 hours straight so it`s important to have physical activities.

- Now it’s a difficult time for sports. The reason is covid-19. Have you had an opportunity to train all this time? How was it? How often?

- Firstly, the whole season was cancelled. Later, when we got a permission to shoot on the national level, we conducted the National Championship and Dubrava Cup. This week from August 8th to August 9th we`ll have Croatia Cup in Veliko Trgovišće and that will be the last competition in Croatia Field season this year. We have about 4 trainings per week which is a bit less trainings than usual 5-6 ones per week.

- Have you already missed the IAU competitions? What do you like most about these competitions? What is the most memorable for you during the competitions?

- 2020 will be missed, for sure. Every championship brings memories, experiences, feelings, etc. When I look at the medals, they give me flashbacks from those championships. I`m sure that 2021 will be ‘normal’.

- What would you like to wish yourself and other athletes?

- Dear shooting friends, I hope to see all of you next year! If you don`t have an opportunity to shoot, keep yourself active, take more time in nature, nature is a half of the health.