Makarainen, the defending overall World Cup champion, only had one miss on the day as she stormed to victory in a time of 32:23.0 to keep her slim hopes of retaining her title alive.
The 29-year-old remains third in the overall standings after her fourth win of the season but closes the gap on the front two of Germany’s Magdalena Neuner and Belarus’ Darya Domracheva.
Neuner, the hot favourite for the overall title, had to settle for second on the day but she was pushed all the way by Domracheva who took third.
In the men’s 12.5km individual pursuit biathlon legend Ole Einar Bjorndalen rolled back the years to take gold.
The 38-year-old Norwegian, a six-time Olympic gold medallist, missed twice on the first prone shoot but remained flawless thereafter to finish first in a time of 33:43.8minutes.
Second on the day was overall World Cup leader Martin Fourcade who, despite finishing 13 seconds behind Bjorndalen, increased his lead in the standings.
The Frenchman’s main rival overall is Emil Hegle Svendsen but the Norwegian could only finish fourth, pipped to the podium by Russia’s Dmitry Malyshko.