She arrived in France in 1990 and first trained with Fernand Urtebise, who also coached 1997 world 400m hurdles champion Stephane Diagana. She had a hip injury which kept her out of the 2001 World Championships. She was named 1998 European Female Athlete of the Year.
In 2001, after a heavy training period in the USA with John Smith and the HSI group, she quit training for a year, saying she was physically exhausted from the experience. "It was hell. Every morning I wondered how I was going to put up with the burden of training."
In June 2002 she also gave birth to her first child.