Nick Willis is in awe of the tenacity his fellow 1500 metre runners have shown to earn their ticket to Rio.

Hamish Carson and Julian Matthews will be part of the blue ribbon event in Rio, joining Willis in the New Zealand track and field team.

Willis says despite the lack of chances, the persistence shown by the pair to get to the Olympics is exceptional.

He says while he had a lot of doors opened for him, Carson and Matthews have had several shut and had to chase times not knowing what they're doing.

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Willis says to have team-mates in an otherwise lonely sport is amazing.