Simone Koch learned her first triple jumps with coach Ingeburg Walter (still coach at the Dresdner EC). Later she was coached by Ingrid Lehmann in Berlin. Simone Koch represented the club SC Einheit Berlin and therefore the GDR.
In 1983, at the age of 14, she had already become junior world champion. In 1984 she was awarded the silver medal at the junior world championships placing behind another East German, Karin Hendschke. In the following years Simone Koch was a direct rival of Katarina Witt in their country. Koch became 1984 and 1988 silver medalist at the East German Championships, each time placing behind Katarina Witt. In 1989 Simone Koch was one of the favourites for the title of European Champion. However, she lost the qualifying competition in East Germany versus Evelyn Großmann and Simone Lang.
She is married now and has changed her name to Simone Schnabel. Her husband is Günther Schnabel. The couple has a daughter (born 1990): Lisa-Maria. In 1992 and 1993, after the German reunification, Simone Koch attempted to qualify for international championships, but did not succeed.