Tokyo 2020 have been unable to finalise the competition schedule for aquatics events at the Olympic Games as discussions over the timing of swimming finals remain ongoing, it was revealed here today.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board approved the schedule for the rest of the sports on the programme for the Games in the Japanese capital.
But the rundown of diving, swimming and artistic events was omitted by Tokyo 2020 in the document presented to the Executive Board and released following their presentation.
Tokyo 2020 President Yoshirō Mori admitted organisers had been forced to make compromises in the scheduling and claimed IOC Coordination Commission chairman John Coates had been delegated to finalise "unresolved details" regarding the aquatics programme.
Tokyo 2020 have refused to reveal the reason but it has been claimed the delay is due to a dispute involving broadcasters in the United States and Japan over the timing of swimming finals.
American television networks are hoping gold medal races are held in the morning Japanese time to ensure they are broadcast in prime-time.
Japanese broadcasters are reportedly holding firm and believe they should instead take place in the evening as swimming is one of the country's most popular Olympic sports.
Mori said discussions with the International Swimming Federation (FINA) are continuing and organisers are hopeful for a quick resolution.
"There are certain undecided points and unresolved slots and the relevant parties will continue discussions so it can be finalised eventually," Mori said here.
"Further coordination is needed.
"What should be the time slot for the final round?
"We have to rack our brains and come up with better ideas."
Tokyo 2020 also confirmed today that they had accepted a proposal from the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) to increase the number of matches in the first Olympic baseball tournament for a decade.
It marks a resolution to a protracted row between Tokyo 2020 and the WBSC over the baseball format.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari told insidethegames earlier this year that they dispute the initial two-groups plan as teams could feasibly be eliminated after playing only two matches.
Tokyo 2020 have moved to address the concerns of the WBSC as the baseball competition will now include 16 matches - six in the opening round and 10 in the knockout phase.
The two groups of three format has been retained but nations will progress to the knockout round even if they lose their opening two games.
Nations could still be eliminated after playing three matches, however.
"While WBSC proposed the fairest format possible with a round-robin, WBSC accepts this joint resolution to stage an expanded 16-game, two groups of three Olympic baseball event, which will be played after the softball event," Fraccari said in a statement sent to insidethegames.
"Today’s resolution, which helps guarantee the integrity of the competition, is a win-win that highlights the resourcefulness and flexibility of President Bach’s Agenda 2020.
"With the format now mutually decided, we can focus our attention on delivering the best-ever Olympic baseball and softball events in history, helping to shine the biggest spotlight possible on Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Movement.
"How we showcase our sport leading to and at Tokyo 2020 will obviously play a big role for remaining at the Games in 2024 and 2028."
Football and softball matches, due to be held in Fukushima, are set to take place on July 22, two days before the Opening Ceremony.
Archery and rowing events are set to begin on the day of the spectacle on July 24.
3x3 basketball will be the next of the five additional sports to make its Tokyo 2020 entrance, with the first matches pencilled in for July 25.
Skateboarding and surfing will also start on the opening weekend.
August 1 has been dubbed "Super Saturday" by organisers as gold medals will be won in the new mixed team events in shooting, triathlon and judo on a day where 23 sports will be contested.
Events such as the marathons and long-distance race walks have been brought forward following fears of searing temperatures in Tokyo.
Marathons will start at 6.30am instead of 7am and the 50 kilometres race walks have been moved forward by 90 minutes from 7.30am to 6am.
Tokyo 2020 officials were keen to stress the difficulty in formalising a competition schedule featuring 33 sports - the most at any Olympic Games - just over two years before the Games begin.
"In addition to prioritising the athletes’ experience and well-being, both domestic and international aspects including the international federations’ technical rules, gender balance and the popularity of individual sports were considered," added Mori.
"It took more than a year-and-a-half of planning and coordination with a wide range of stakeholders.
"We appreciate the cooperation of the many involved in these efforts and will continue to work on further adjustments to the competition schedule."