The rowers from SC Magdeburg won at the 1976 World Junior Championships in One. In 1979, he won along with Klaus Kröppelien, Karl -Heinz Bussert and Joachim Dreifke in the GDR championships in quadruple sculls. At the World Championships in Bled the four won the world title in front of the West German boat. For the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980 Peter Kersten after qualifying in one. In the Olympic regatta he finished in third place behind the Finns Pertti Karppinen and Vasily Jakuscha from the Soviet Union. In 1981 Kersten back in the quadruple sculls and won with Martin Winter, Uwe Heppner and Joachim Dreifke in the GDR championships. The World Rowing Championships in Munich in 1981 Karl -Heinz Bussert sat Dreifke place in the boat, the quadruple sculls won the world title, the sixth for the GDR, since 1974 this boat class had first been on the World Cup program.
Kersten is a qualified mechanical engineer and repairman.