Sports scholar wins silver in Pan Am Games pentathlon

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Sports Centre at the University of Stirling.
Tristen Bell trains at the University of Stirling Sports Centre.

University of Stirling sports scholar Tristen Bell has won silver in the men’s modern pentathlon relay at the Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile.

Representing the United States, Bell and teammate Brendan Anderson put in impressive performances across the event’s five sports – fencing, freestyle swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and cross country running – to take second place, just behind Mexico in first.

Bell, 22, and Anderson, 27, secured first place in the show jumping, fifth in fencing, seventh in swimming and fourth in laser run (shooting and running) on their journey to the podium.

Tristen Bell wins silver at the Pan American Games. Medallists: Brendan Anderson and Tristen Bell celebrate after winning silver at the Pan American Games 2023 (image credit: Santiago 2023 / Xpress Media).

Reflecting on his success, Bell - who was born in Tampa, Florida, but moved to the Czech Republic aged six - said: “I am proud to have won silver at the Games – the competition was perfect. Brendan and I had all five disciplines under control throughout the event. We were so close to winning gold – and were leading all the way, until the last part of the run, when Mexico passed us.

“I couldn’t be happier with the result – I’m delighted to finish the season off with a silver medal.”

Bell had earlier finished 11th in the individual event – a result which meant he was unable to secure his spot at next year’s Olympics. However, he has not given up hope of making the Games in Paris – with next year offering other opportunities to qualify.

Bell added: “I felt a bit frustrated after the individual event, I had more to show. Luckily, I was able to use that energy in the relay and ended up with a great performance.

“Unfortunately, I did not qualify for the Olympics but there is still a chance next year. I will get some rest first, then start my winter preparation and give it my all in the 2024 season.”

As a sports scholar at Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence, Bell – who studies BA (Hons) Business Studies and Sports Studies – benefits from the University’s world-class facilities, expert coaching, and academic flexibility.


David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University, said: “I am absolutely delighted for Tristen – who has been rewarded for his talent and hard work with a silver medal at the Pan Am Games.

“This is an excellent achievement and is yet another example of University of Stirling athletes competing at the pinnacle of their sports internationally. We are excited to see Tristen continue to compete at the highest level, and know he has qualification for the 2024 Olympics in his sights.”

Held every four years, the Pan American Games is a continental multi-sport event in the Americas, which sees thousands of athletes compete in a variety of summer sports competitions.

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