Esther Roth was the first Israeli to qualify for an Olympic track & field final (100-meter hurdles). But, she never ran the medal race. The year was 1972, and it was the Olympics of the Munich Massacre of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches, including her longtime coach Amitzur Shapira. The '72 Games continued after little more than a brief pause, but Roth withdrew from the competition.
Two years later, Roth returned to running at the 1974 Asian Games, where she was a 3-time gold medalist, winning the 100m and 200m sprints, and 100m hurdles.
The Israeli sprinter was back at the Olympics in 1976, and again sprinted through the prelims, qualifying for the 100M hurdles final. Although she finished 6th, Roth was the first Israeli to run in an Olympic final event.
As an 18-year old, Roth established herself as a world class performer at the 1970 Asian Games, winning gold medals in the 100-meter hurdles and Pentathlon, and a silver in the long jump. In 1971, she was named Asia's "Sportswoman of the Year".